Murphy 'to recognise UDA ceasefire'

The government is expected to signal it is ready to recognise the Ulster Defence Association ceasefire, it is understood.

Secretary of State Paul Murphy is expected to confirm the move later on Friday.

In October 2001, the then Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid withdrew government recognition for the UDA ceasefire because of its involvement in violence.

The group declared a new ceasefire in February this year. Senior members of the UDA leadership held talks with Mr Murphy at Stormont last week.

Since that meeting, senior government officials and loyalists have remained in contact.

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