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Stormont crisis: Martin McGuinness says Sinn Fein 'won't jump to tune of inter-party rivalry'

Deputy First Minister brands Kevin McGuigan killers as 'criminals who are no friends of Sinn Fein'

By Michael McHugh and David Young

Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness branded those involved in the murder of Kevin McGuigan as "criminals" who were "no friends" of his party.

He accused the DUP and UUP of a failure of leadership. He said their actions were "foolhardy, foolish and totally devoid of the quality of leadership that is required".

"The demand, the ultimatum, that has been issued that the institutions be adjourned Sinn Fein is opposed to," he said.

"We are not going to jump to the tune of the inter-party rivalry that is being played out among both unionist parties at this time and I think it would be a grave mistake for the British government to suspend these institutions.

"I think it would send a very negative message and would be grist to the mill of those who in the past have tried to plunge us back to the past.

"I have spoken in recent days to the British government and I have spoken to the Taoiseach (Enda Kenny) this afternoon. David Cameron told me he would not suspend the institutions, the Taoiseach told me this afternoon he was totally opposed to the suspension of the institutions. So I think what is required over the course of the next number of hours and into tomorrow is a period of reflection for those who are involved in this inter-party rivalry."

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UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said his party's position had been vindicated.

"There is one issue here - the fact the IRA still exists and Sinn Fein are in denial," he said.

"So there is only one fix and I cannot supply it, the DUP cannot supply it, for all their bluster. The only person who can supply the fix is Gerry Adams. Gerry Adams has to admit the IRA exists, with a structure. Without that, talks of adjournments and suspensions and talks - it's all bluster. It's down to Gerry Adams to tell the truth."

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