On the Runs: McGuinness calls for end to ‘grandstanding’

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. (2502MM05)
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. (2502MM05)
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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has called on other political parties to “stop the grandstanding” over the row about ‘on the runs.’

Mr McGuinness made the comment after First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson threatened to resign after it was it was revealed that letters were sent to 187 republicans telling them they were not wanted by the police.

Mr Robinson and other unionists claimed to be unaware of the situation, despite the minutes of meetings of Policing Board meetings showing that members, including DUP representatives, were briefed about it in 2010 and 2005.

Speaking outside Stormont, Mr McGuinness said all parties knew of the moves to deal with ‘on the runs’ and called for responsible leadership.

“The information about this was in the political arena and, to a certain extent, in the public domain. It has been shown that this has been discussed at the Policing Board. All the political parties knew it,” the Deputy First Minister said.

Discussing Mr Robinson’s resignation threat, Mr McGuinness said; “The big responsibility is for cool heads, steady leadership and responsible leadership.

“We have to work together, work through these issues and stop the grandstanding.”

The Deputy First Minister said Mr Robinson would achieve nothing. “I have to ask what would that achieve? It would lead to an election. What would that achieve? In my view absolutely nothing. On the other side of that, those of us with responsibility would have to take forward the general thrust of Haass. Those proposals are not going to go away,” he said.