To get to the interesting part of this story, you need to scroll down to the end of the BBC report – on the first public meeting of the new Policing Board, now including Dawn Purvis of the UVF-linked PUP. Not present in the line-up today though were the 2 UUP nominated members of the Board who are exercising what is described as a selective boycott, as the UUP mentioned previously in this statement released when the chairman of the Board was voted in. Update The Press Association spoke to one of the UUP’s Policing Board members, Fred CobainHere’s the relevant section of the BBC report –
Ulster Unionists stayed away from the meeting as part of a “selective boycott” over its membership.
Independent, non-elected representatives now outnumber political members of the authority.
The party has accused Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain of turning the organisation into a quango.
Neither of the UUP’s two representatives, MLAs Fred Cobain and Danny Kennedy, attended.
A UUP spokesman would not confirm when they would attend.
He said: “If things come up which we deem to be crucial we will go on it. But it’s our decision and at our discretion.”
And the relevant section from the previous UUP statement
*Until we can be satisfied and certain about the reason for tinkering with the Board, we are unable to give it our unqualified commitment, formed as it was without consultation or consent. We have no alternative but to insure ourselves against agreements that may have been made behind our backs. We will reserve our position and decide our degree of involvement in and with the Board as things unfold.[added emphasis]
And a quick reminder of what the IMC had to say about the PUP and the UVF in its most recent report –
5.6 In the case of the PUP, we noted in our Eighth Report the lead it had given to end the UVF’s feud with the LVF in the late summer of 2005 and the energy it had put into its subsequent efforts to persuade the UVF to change its attitude to violence and other crime. We expressed the hope that these efforts would show success and concluded that financial measures against the PUP in the Assembly were not appropriate. We also said that we hoped the PUP would give a clear and robust lead to the UVF to stop targeting nationalists and ethnic minorities. The last three months have shown little tangible evidence of progress and the recent statement from a spokesman of the UVF that it does not intend to do more before 24 November 2006 is not encouraging. We very much hope that there will be significant progress before our next report.[added emphasis]