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Sinn Fein slams the 'hypocrisy' of DUP on policing

By Chris Kilpatrick

The DUP has been accused of hypocrisy after its stinging criticism of Sinn Fein's role in the appointment of the Deputy Chief Constable.

Drew Harris was appointed to the £160,000-per-year post earlier this week.

But Sinn Fein was accused of trying to block the move after he signed off on the arrest of the party's president Gerry Adams earlier this year. Sinn Fein MLA Caitriona Ruane was criticised after she withdrew from the Policing Board appointment panel, with the DUP subsequently demanding an apology and accusing Ms Ruane of casting doubt over the recruitment process.

Sinn Fein yesterday hit back, saying the DUP's position on policing "smacks of hypocrisy".

Sinn Fein MLA and Policing Board member Pat Sheehan said: "It is clear that an uneasiness currently exists within the DUP over supporting current policing and justice institutions. There have been several instances over the last year of DUP members failing to give support for the PSNI and the rule of law.

"Just last week DUP councillor John Carson in Ballymena publicly stated 'he had absolutely no confidence in present day policing', and that he will play no part in any group with a PSNI presence.

"These comments come just weeks after the controversy surrounding Health Minister Edwin Poots, who questioned the partiality of the judiciary and was supported by his DUP colleagues in doing so. For our part, Sinn Fein has been entirely consistent in our support for the administration of justice."

Mr Harris was chosen by the Policing Board to replace Judith Gillespie. The appointment process was thrown into uncertainty on Monday when Ms Ruane withdrew from the selection panel.

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