Trimble rules out SF powersharing

David Trimble launched a scathing attack on the DUP

Ulster Unionists will not re-enter an assembly which includes Sinn Fein, party leader David Trimble has said.

He was speaking at the annual meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council, being held in Belfast.

Mr Trimble said if asked by Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams how to restore unionist faith in the Executive, he would say he had no idea how this could be done.

The Ulster Unionist leader also used his speech to launch one of his strongest attacks yet on the DUP.

'Green card'

He said the DUP had given republicans a "green card" to continue criminal activity in the failed political negotiations before Christmas.

Speaking about the possibilty of an electoral pact with the DUP, Mr Trimble said his party would not be driven off the political battlefield.

He warned the DUP that if they contested the South Belfast constituency in the next general election and handed the seat to a nationalist they would be "condemned as anti-unionist".

Mr Trimble also accused the DUP of failing to get decommissioning, conceding to an all-Ireland Assembly of MLAs and TDs and a structured role for nationalist MPs and MEPs in the Dail.

He said the DUP had "turned a blind eye" to the release of Garda Jerry McCabe's killers and also accused the party of sending out signals that it was waiting until after the elections to "get back into bed with republicans".

He added that the DUP should "join with his party and other democrats to ensure there would be no deviation from the constitutional settlement enshrined in the Agreement".

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