28/10/2004

Dodds again calls for Bradley removal

DUP MP for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds, has again called on the vice chairman of the Policing Board Denis Bradley to either resign or be removed from office following comments made concerning nationalist support for the PSNI.

Speaking on Monday morning, Mr Bradley said nationalists may have to reconsider their involvement in policing if the current political stalemate goes on, and that if these problems were not resolved within two weeks “the governments should impose joint authority or another mechanism other than direct rule”.

"If a police officer was killed somewhere within the next couple of months - within that vacuum - I think that policing could be set back for a long period of time," he said.

Speaking during a debate in the House of Commons Mr Dodd’s said Mr Bradley’s remarks were both “grossly irresponsible and deeply offensive”.

“It is not his place to plead with the government to institute joint authority for Northern Ireland,” the North Belfast MP said.

“We have been told for decades by nationalists that policing and politics should be separate yet Denis Bradley seems free to mix the two as he pleases.

“He is equally out of order to offer dissident republicans a licence to murder police officers in order to advance their political aims. These terrorists do not need any encouragement to maim or murder without gaining succour from the likes of Denis Bradley.”

Mr Dodd’s said that if Mr Bradley did not “do the honourable thing by resigning his position immediately” then the Secretary of State must act in the public interest and remove him from office.

“I can’t help but think that if a unionist Policing Board member made similar remarks they would be forced out. We cannot have double standards,” he added.

(MB/GMCG)

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