“It is for the parties to decide when the time is right..”

With all the coverage of the New Year message from the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, it’s worth pointing to the one key line on devolving policing and justice powers to the Assembly – full statement here

It is for the parties to decide when the time is right, but the Government will be ready to make the transfer of powers next May as envisaged in the St Andrews Agreement.” [added emphasis]

It is something he has said before.. and he’s also admitted that the target date might not be met. But the time will only be right when those parties stop pre-empting ongoing police investigations.. or interviews for that matter. [And is Alex Maskey still “thoroughly baffled”? – Ed] Adds And, on a related point, I had neglected to mention Strabane..