“I warn those unionist cave-dwellers who seek to wreck our achievements…”

DUP leader Peter Robinson has told Republicans he will not be bossed about on the issue of the devolution of policing and justice. Mr Robinson told his party’s annual conference:

“The last few weeks have witnessed republicans muttering darkly about an emergent political crisis and a threat to the existence of the Assembly. To my mind this is the clearest evidence that it is they and not we who are under real pressure from the new dispensation in Northern Ireland politics.

But I say to them they must show leadership and stop looking over one shoulder at Alex Atwood and over the other at the dissidents. Threatening the institutions is destabilising. Threatening the DUP is dumb.

Mr Robinson added:

“I cannot guarantee the future of the Assembly but I can guarantee that it will not be the DUP that will walk away.”

Peter Robinson did not name his unionist targets when he saved his most vitriolic comment for them but it is deemed that he had the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice Jim Allister and his supporters in mind when he fired this salvo:

And I warn those unionist cave-dwellers who seek to wreck our achievements, that they had better be prepared to come clean and explain to the people of Northern Ireland how on earth they think the return of Direct Rule – which is all they have to offer – represents a safer choice or a better way.