05 November 2005

Government 'must aid loyalists'


Martin McGuinness said loyalists must be encouraged towards peace

The government should be doing more to "encourage loyalists along a peaceful path", Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has said.

Mr McGuinness said there "were progressive elements within the UVF and UDA", but they needed more support.

The Mid-Ulster MP also said the Independent Monitoring Commission "was wrong" to say the IRA was involved in a recent assault.

He said he had "put questions to the secretary of state on the matter".

Mr McGuinness, who was speaking on the BBC's Inside Politics programme, said it was clear that others, "even within the UDA, were seeking a role as we move forward politically".

"That is a good thing and they should be encouraged. It is not just the responsibility of the taoiseach or people in Dublin to encourage them," he said.

"As an observer of all of that, I would have to be very concerned that the British government are not really playing their part and engaging with progressive figures within loyalism who wish to play a constructive role as we move forward."

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