UUP criticised as 'anti-Agreement'

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David Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party no longer backs the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, claimed on Friday night.

As the republican leadership faced new demands over the arrest of three IRA suspects in Colombia, the Mid-Ulster MP hit out at the UUP leader's "excuses" for "shirking his responsibilities" to cement the peace process. He declared: "That's what Colombia is, that's what they are trying to use because clearly now I believe that David Trimble's party is not a pro-Agreement party. They are anti-Agreement."

Mr McGuinness's claims came as Ulster Unionist officers met in a bid to resolve the internal split on the issue of joining the Police Board, which will oversee RUC reform. A further meeting of the Executive is due today as Mr Trimble tries to convince hardliners that the party should join the 19-strong body.

Earlier, the UUP chief insisted the republican movement's credibility had been completely undermined by the detention of the three men in Bogota on explosives charges.