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Statement by Mark Durkan, 11 January 2010

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Text: Mark Durkan ... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

Statement by Mark Durkan, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), on Robinson decision to temporarily step down, Derry, (11 January 2010)


"Peter Robinson’s decision to step aside sees a change in his position from Friday when he felt he did not need to go anywhere -either in office or in his party.

Now he has seen reason to move it is hard to see how he can come back and if he does he will certainly be diminished.

But Peter Robinson’s decision to step aside will not do away with the need for further inquiries.

Further inquiries are required not only for Peter Robinson and the DUP but for the credibility of our political institutions.

There needs to be proper transparent procedures and investigations to ensure good public standards.

Questions around the First Minister will not go away as a result of a lawyer’s assessment as the wider allegations against Peter Robinson and the DUP go beyond whether there has been a breach of the ministerial code of conduct.

Many of these centre round the soliciting and provision of money as a gift.

Now we need to know if these arrangements are going to last the full six weeks and what will happen then? However, overall this is not a satisfactory situation for all the parties.

There seems to be some confusion as to who is responsible for what and we cannot afford to add to the uncertainty.

It is important the Minister Foster follows through on the letter of 2 December from the First Minister and deputy First Minister and convenes a meeting of all party leaders and brings forward plans for the devolution of policing and justice."


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