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Decision on Northern Ireland policing is broadly welcomed

By Kathryn Torney

Securing agreement for the devolution of policing and justice powers has been broadly welcomed — but with a few exceptions.

Welcoming the vote, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott said:”Devolution will strengthen our service. It will help to ensure communities receive the policing service that not only they deserve, but that we are committed to delivering.”

First Minister Peter Robinson said: “Throughout history there are times of challenge and defining moments. This is such a moment.”

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “I acknowledge that this is a challenge to us all but it is one to which we all must rise.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was an important step in ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future.

Irish president Mary McAleese said the vote represented confidence in the political institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement.

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey said: “As a democratic political party pledged to making power-sharing work in an inclusive manner for all the people of Northern Ireland, we exercise our rights, refusing to bow to the blackmail and bullying to which we have been subjected in recent weeks.”

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie said: “The SDLP supports the devolution of Policing and Justice as we always have... But because of Hillsborough, we are deeply concerned about the integrity of this process.”

Conservative leader David Cameron said: “Concerns about the functioning of the Executive as a genuine four-party coalition prevented the Ulster Unionists from backing today's vote, and I hope these will now be resolved in a spirit of genuine partnership.”

PM Gordon Brown said: “Today the politics of progress have finally replaced the politics of division in Northern Ireland.”

TUV Leader Jim Allister said: “Today will go down as a day of victory for IRA/Sinn Fein.”

Belfast Telegraph


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