Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The SDLP has warned the British government against undermining the Parades Commission in an attempt to appease the DUP

William Graham:

The party's justice spokesman, Alban Maginness, said "the bottom line is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

He added: "The commission works and it should not be weakened in any way at the behest of people who simply don't like the decisions it makes. The whole parading issue would be much worse without the work of the commission and it must be protected from random political attack."

Mr Maginness said the commission was due for reappointment but said that was not a concession.

"It should not be dressed up as one, nor should the DUP be allowed to represent it as a concession," he said.

"As for the review of procedures the secretary of state has promised, it must be just that – a look at the way the Parades Commission procedures work but not one which undermines the commission itself."

In an Irish News interview yesterday (Wednesday), Secretary of State Peter Hain said he would not alter the fundamental principles behind the commission but would look at its operation.

He said there were lessons to be learned on the parades issue concerning the need for more dialogue and a better way of providing mediation.

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