January 1980 - Hume criticises unionists over internal squabbles

SDLP leader John Hume has accused the Official Unionists and Democratic Unionists of being more concerned about their internal dog fight than the search for a solution to the North’s problems.

Invitations went out from Humphrey Atkins, Northern Ireland Secretary of State, to the four main party leaders for a meeting to discuss issues not included in the current Stormont conference.

But this time, Rev, Ian Paisley, who is taking part in the Stormont session, has joined the Official Unionists in opposition to the separate talks.

Mr Hume, who with the Alliance Party has accepted Mr Atkins’ invitation, said he was surprised at the attitude of both Unionists and the DUP because reports on both conferences would be made to both the British Prime Minister and her Cabinet.