Loyalists welcome Blair assurances
Wednesday 16 July 1997
The Prime Minister assured the leaders of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), including Gary McMichael and David Ervine, that the Government would move ahead with the cross- party talks on Ulster without Sinn Fein if the IRA did not restore its ceasefire.
He defended the contacts between Mo Mowlam, the Northern Ireland Secretary, with Sinn Fein, in spite of protests by Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party that it had amounted to a deceit.
Mr Blair told the Loyalists that Sinn Fein could not claim the Government had not tried to get them into the talks. "He met with a positive response," said a Downing Street spokesman. Outside Number Ten, the Loyalists said it was "make your mind up time" for the IRA.
Defending the renewal of contacts, cut off after the killing of two police officers by the IRA, the spokesman said: "If the phone rings, people pick it up. All [Northern Ireland Secretary] Mo [Mowlam] was doing was - and to her credit - being honest."
"If there are genuine points of clarification, then there is no reason why they should be answered. What we have made clear is the Prime Minister is not going to be strung along on this.
"But he is pretty determined nobody is going to be able to say the British Government is not trying on this front," the Downing Street spokesman said.
Ulster Unionist leaders yesterday met the Northern Ireland Secretary in Belfast to press for tougher conditions on the IRA ceasefire before Sinn Fein could be admitted to the talks. The Ulster Unionist Party, led by David Trimble, objected to the promise by Mr Blair that Sinn Fein could be admitted within six weeks of an IRA ceasefire.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 4 Penis size: Study revealing 'what's normal' sends international media into meltdown
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Ayesha Ali death: Mother and her girlfriend found guilty of manslaughter of eight-year-old
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, claims photographer
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 2nd / 3rd Line IT Support Eng...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...