John Taylor MP, who played a key part in bringing his party to accept last year's agreement, announced that he had changed his view and now believed the idea of bringing Sinn Fein into government was "a non-runner".
Mr Taylor's move, which is seen as being in line with a general decrease in Protestant support for the Good Friday agreement, is bound to undermine the position of Mr Trimble, who has been unable to halt the progressive loss of faith in the agreement. Mr Taylor said he had not been very happy with the agreement at the time but had decided to run with it. He added: "I thought at least we should give it a chance. Now we've given it a chance.
"It is time to face reality and, bluntly, you cannot have Sinn Fein/IRA in government while they maintain a private army and are rearming it and bringing in new recruits."
He also described Chris Patten's recent report on the RUC as "outrageous, a total surrender of all our Britishness".Reuse content