Ulster 'impasse'

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Conference drew back from insisting on the decommissioning of some IRA and loyalist weapons as a pre-condition to all-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Marjorie Mowlam, shadow Northern Ireland secretary, said the issue of decommissioning had to be addressed, but she left room for manoeuvre on the timing. She stressed she would not break the bi-partisan approach with the Government, but without her intervention to flesh out a motion on the peace process, Labour had risked laying itself open to the accusation of going soft on the surrender of arms.

The motion, passed overwhelmingly, expressed concern at the "impasse" in the peace process and called for all-party talks to begin without delay. But it made no mention of decommissioning.