31 May 2006

All parties expected to sign up for committee on devolution

Belfast Telegraph

By Noel McAdam
31 May 2006

The SDLP has warned the Government's 'set up Stormont' committee could be used by the DUP to block devolution - but has said it will take part. Sinn Fein said it will be there too - but called on the DUP to attend.

Alliance will also take part in the 'task force' - but voiced concerns the committee won't be able to do its work. The DUP has yet to make a decision but is expected to attend, and the UUP will almost certainly be there.

The Preparation for Government Committee, to be chaired by Assembly speaker Eileen Bell, is to meet on Tuesday.

But SDLP leader Mark Durkan said he was concerned over Secretary of State Peter Hain's suggestion that talks would be with the governments and not between parties on the committee.

He said he feared the committee could be used 'to set preconditions for the restoration of the Agreement's institutions'.

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