04/05/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Walls are being


re-painted in Belfast as Gerry Adams begins his fourth day in police


custody in connection with one of the most brutal and shocking murders


of the Troubles. That's our top story.


He may have got egg on his face this week but Nigel Farage is a serious


electoral threat in this month's elections. I'll ask the Conservative


Party Chairman Grant Shapps how worried he is.


And we're on the trail of Nick Clegg. You were voted the best


looking party leader and the most likely to be a good


And in Northern Ireland: As the deadline for police to charge or


release Gerry Adams gets closer, we deadline for police to charge or


talk to the five Executive parties about the possible impact on


Stormont and policing. and independence. We have a table


full of Euro candidates here to debate what it means for London.


And with me, as always, the best and the brightest political panel in the


business - Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be


throwing metaphorical rotten eggs into the twittersphere.


First this morning - Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, has spent a


fourth night in police custody after he was arrested in connection with


the killing of Jean McConville more than 40 years ago. Sinn Fein has


claimed that the arrest is politically motivated coming, as it


does, during local and European election campaigns. Northern


Ireland's deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, has indicated he


might review the party's support for policing in the province if Gerry


Adams is charged. The Jean McConville murder was one of the


most notorious cases of the Troubles.


The widowed mother of ten was kidnapped from her home in December


1972, never to be seen alive again. The IRA denied involvement but in


1999 admitted it had murdered her and several others, known as the


Disappeared. Before his death, the former IRA commander Brendan Hughes


pointed the finger at Gerry Adams, claiming:


In April this year, either Bell was charged with aiding and abetting the


murder. -- Ivor Bell. Gerry Adams has always insisted he is innocent


of any part in the abduction and killing all burial of Mrs


McConville. We were hoping to speak to the


Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, but having agreed to do an


interview with us this morning, she pulled out. But we are joined from


Belfast by Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. And


the police just doing their job by questioning Gerry Adams? Gerry Adams


said publicly some time ago that he was available to speak to the


police, but that is not what this is about at the moment, because what we


have here is clearly evidence in our mind of political interference in


what should be due process. Gerry Adams made it clear some time ago he


wanted to speak to the police, it was available at any time, and yet


that request was not taken up until three weeks into an election and we


believe that was deliberately orchestrated by a small number of


people. What evidence can you present this morning that proves


that claim? The direct circumstances Gerry Adams finds himself in at the


moment, take that in stark contrast when they have dealt with members of


the British Army for instance... That is just circumstantial. The


PSNI know that the soldiers involved in that and a number of other


high-profile killings of citizens here, and not one of those people


has been arrested. In fact any of the people who were interviewed were


interviewed by request. There was a stark contrast, in terms of how they


have dealt with the British military involving state killings. We haven't


got too much time. Sinn Fein said it would review its support for the


PSNI if Gerry Adams is charged. That sounds like political interference


in the police process. It's not because we have a clear mandate from


the people who elect us. Policing has been an important part of the


peace process here for many years, Sinn Fein plays an important role in


local policing partnerships. We negotiate to make sure we have


powers transferred here to elected representatives in the north. It is


a long way to go before we have policing highly accountable, and


making sure they deliver a very impartial service. How will he react


if Gerry Adams is charged? I am still trying to get a clear answer.


If Gerry Adams is charged, will you withdraw support for the Northern


Ireland police service? We view this as a serious situation and a serious


ongoing situation and we will monitor how this pans out. We have a


very important role to play to support the police service here. We


have done consistently, worked with them on a daily basis, but we will


not accept political interference by a small number of people in the


police who are undermining the police. We will not accept political


policing. If there was evidence, and I emphasise the word if, because we


have seen none, but if there were evidence to justify Gerry Adams


being charged, why should he not be charged? It is my understanding from


the family of Gerry Adams that there has not been a single shred of


evidence put forward. I understand that, but if there was evidence, why


should he not be charged? You put that caveat yourself and then you


expect me to speculate, there is no way I will do that. The fact of the


matter is there hasn't been one single shred of evidence put to


Gerry Adams in the last few days, in fact what has been put to him is a


range of issues of newspaper cuttings, books, statements made


from people, including from people who didn't want their statements


released until they have died. who didn't want their statements


was charged, again I emphasise the word if, does the police process


fall apart? The police process is a fragile entity, it requires work and


we have been saying this publicly and privately with the Irish and


British and privately with the Irish and


process has to be nurtured and developed. We are not out of the


woods yet. From a Republican point of view we have been working flat


out. I just wanted a quick answer to my question, is a yes or no? What


question I asking me? Is the peace process in jeopardy? It is fragile


and I am not going to have words put into my mouth but I don't want to


use. It has to be worked out and nurtured. Thank you for joining us.


Nick Watt, you were a Northern Ireland correspondent like myself in


days gone by. Where is this going to go? It shows how challenging the


peace process is because on the one hand you have the unspeakable pain


of the McConville family, but you also have the danger of not having


mechanisms to deal with the past. South Africa is a good example, you


have to have some mechanism to deal with the past because if you don't,


you are going to have, as Sinn Fein have now, someone in a police cell


but you don't have the arrests of the Bloody Sunday soldiers.


Paramilitary prisoners were released after two years... We have seen no


action against somebody accused of the Hyde Park bombings, it is not a


one-way street. We have the decommissioning of IRA weapons by


the IRA, therefore destroying crucial evidence. You have these


inconsistencies because you don't have an mechanism for dealing with


the past, but doing that is really difficult because of the pain of


real people. Don't you get a feeling that here in London they are hoping


he will not be charged? Definitely because it would be nice if


everything went away, but the civil case of the family is taken out of


the hands of the police. You can see here a real failure in Westminster


to see this as anything other than settled. David Cameron we know sees


himself as a chairman. I was speaking to a friend in Northern


Ireland who said he has never met Gerry Adams and I think this is very


revealing. They consider this as a settled issue that will not trouble


Westminster again. It would be, but the relatives of the disappeared


don't want it to be settled. This points to the reality that the


Belfast agreement probably had to be done, but the moral price at which


it was purchased was far greater than we were willing to admit during


the euphoria. For a country that prides itself by the rule of law to


tolerate the early release of prisoners and former pal and


military -- paramilitaries, I think was a very serious matter. As for


the PSNI, it only exists because its predecessor failed to command the


confidence of the nationalist community. It is a very big deal if


even the PSNI ends up falling into the same trap. We have to is leave


it there I'm afraid. It was the Conservative's local election


campaign launch on Friday, and what did David Cameron focus on? Burning


local issues like the state of our roads, rubbish collection or care of


the elderly? No. It was Europe. The Prime Minister re-iterated again his


promise of an in-out referendum on our membership of the EU in 2017.


And it's being reported this morning that he will share a platform with


Nigel Farage in a pre-general election debate. Here's what the


UKIP leader had to say about the issue when he was on the Marr Show


this morning with Ed Miliband. David Cameron very often makes these vague


promises, then doesn't deliver afterwards. I don't think he has any


intention of allowing me into any of these debates. Perhaps Ed Miliband


wants to debate? We have got to have the TV debates as we did join the


last general election. I think David Cameron is doing everything he can


to wriggle out of them. It is up to the broadcasters but whether they


invite Nigel. My main desire is that the debates go ahead. We are joined


now by Grant Shapps. Will he be included? The debates were not


without problems, they took place during the campaign period and


disrupted the flow of the campaign, taking it out of the regions, people


getting to speak to the leaders so a longer period for that would be


helpful. I think they are good idea and they should go ahead, but all of


the negotiation about who is involved is yet to happen. So it is


not a done deal that Nigel Farage will be included? That needs to be


negotiated with the TV companies. The Conservatives believe we should


have debates, but exactly the format and the timing, all of the -- that


will be debated in the autumn, but first we have European elections,


the Queen 's speech and a Scottish referendum. The local election


campaign was launched on Friday. Why did you talk more about Europe than


local councils? Both are important. The local elections are critically


important for people, their local services. It is easy to forget, for


example, that the council tax has been largely frozen since this


Government came to power, a big contrast to Dublin under the


previous Labour government. So why did you go on and on about Europe?


Let me show you the poster used to launch your local election campaign.


There it is, and in-out referendum on Europe, the day of the local


elections, where is the word local? Is it in small print? I hear what


you're saying, I am happy to be here to talk about the local elections.


But you are right, they are on the same day, and not many people know


that only by voting conservative can you get an in-out referendum. --


Conservative. UKIP cannot deliver, we can, it is the same date, so


people... This was the launch of the local election campaign. Why does


the Prime Minister have to keep on promising something he has already


promised? The actual referendum would be in 2017. He promised it


before, he keeps repeating it because he knows people don't really


trust him. I think it is a question of the fact that, actually, unless


you remind people that the pledges there, that the only way to get an


in-out referendum is to vote for it, this is a critical moment at


which we need people to vote for that referendum if they want it. It


is not the case, as I saw this morning, being said by Nigel Farage,


that a referendum was promised before and not delivered. There was


no referendum in the last manifesto. There will be in the next one. There


was a cast-iron guarantee, in the Sun in 2006. Let's just clear that


up... Once the Lisbon Treaty... In the Sun article, he said, we will


have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Clearly, because that treaty


had been passed before the general election, it is difficult to have a


referendum on something in the past. We joined Europe in the 1970s,


having a referendum on that! Look, that is about the future. Our


relationship with Europe is absolutely critical. Most people in


this country feel, I was not old enough to vote in that referendum,


most of those who voted, they voted for a Common Market, that is not


what we have got. We want to continue the work we have been doing


in the EU Budget, what did UKIP do? They voted against it. We want more


of those powers brought home, and we will put it to a referendum, and


people will have to vote Conservative to get it. We have been


looking at new research, almost two thirds of Conservative members are


considering voting for UKIP, almost two thirds. I have a simple message


here, which is this. If you vote for UKIP... Can we have it up? 30% are


likely, 30% are possible. That is why it is important we are making


these arguments. If you vote for UKIP, you are voting to take us


further away from returning powers to this country, further from a


referendum. It is support for Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister,


and he will do exactly what Labour have always done - hand away powers,


and away the rebate for nothing in return, giving Europe even more so


over the day-to-day affairs in Britain. Why are so many people


considering voting UKIP? It is to hold your feet to the fire, they do


not trust you on a referendum, so they will vote UKIP to force you to


tap in your line. We have a very tough line. If I had said four years


ago that this government would manage to cut the overall EU


budget, would take us out of the bailout fund that Labour got us


into, passing a law that no more powers can go to Europe without a


referendum, if I had said that, people would say, I do not believe


it will happen. Not only have we done these things, we are promising


and in-out referendum, and the only way to get it is to vote


Conservative. Nigel Farage has said, we can't change anything in


Europe, and it is no wonder that the president of the European Commission


has said, we love having these UKIP MEPs, because they don't turn up and


vote, apart from when they vote against the cut in the budget. It


goes beyond UKIP in your party, because this research also showed


that those Conservative members most likely to vote for UKIP, they said


they do not feel valued or respected by their own leadership, and they


regard David Cameron as ideological eat more remote from them than UKIP.


What I would say is look at that list... Let me take that step


further. What people need our series solutions to serious problems. When


people vote for a UKIP MEP, I will say, which one of the 40% of the


MEPs who got in for UKIP last time are you voting for, the ones above


left or defected, the ones have gone to jail? 40% have ended up not


delivering. People have a right to know what to expect when they vote


in these elections. They can look at our record at home, and this goes to


the point you have raised about what we have done in Britain to get this


economy back on track, recover from Labour's recession. We are prepared


to take those decisions in Europe as well. Presumably, active


Conservative members, they know that, so why do they not feel valued


by the leadership? I spend time going up and down the country


meeting Conservative members, and they are on the doorstep, last


weekend 150 out in Enfield campaigning for the European and


local elections... Why are they keen on UKIP? When I meet somebody who


says that, not necessarily a member... Have you met members of


say they will vote UKIP? No, but a vote for UKIP is... Do not do it,


you will end up with Labour having more control, handing away powers to


Europe. 51-year-old meeting members who say they will vote UKIP, you


must be out of touch. -- if you are not meeting members. Some of your


members are thinking of voting UKIP. I spend huge amount of time


travelling around, I just told you about this action day in Enfield,


where we had an enormous turnout. Those members were on the doorsteps


pointing out that you can only get reform in Europe by voting


Conservative. Labour and the Lib Dems will not deliver, UKIP can't,


Conservatives will. You have not got that message across, because a


YouGov poll shows, on Europe, who has the best policies? Tories 18%,


Labour 19%, UKIP 27%. On the economy, Tories 27%, Labour 23, UKIP


4. Why don't you shut up about Europe and talk about the economy?


Look, on the 27th of May, we have European elections, as well as local


elections. If I don't talk about the European elections, you would say


what you said at the beginning about not talking about the local


elections! These are serious elections, and the point I am tried


to make is that the issues at stake are not peripheral, they are not


unimportant. Our MEPs have been battling to cut red tape from a


European level on small businesses, the same thing this government has


been doing for small businesses domestic league, where for example


every small business owner watching this show knows they have got ?2000


back in employment announced on national insurance contributions. We


are doing it at home, we are doing it in Europe, and it is important to


tie that together. Ireland that Mr Cameron saying, you should stop


banging on about Europe... -- I remember. This is before the last


general election, as in days for the Lib Dems, 18%. Even then, you didn't


win the election, and now you are only three or four points ahead, it


doesn't look good for you, does it? Even then, the poll did not turn out


to be what it was on the day. No, that is what happens, that is the


voting intentions now! You are in a worse position than a year before


the last election, which you didn't win. We are almost proving the point


that you can take a clip at any moment in time, not sounding like a


politician, but the only poll that matters is on the day. In just over


a year's time, people will have a completely different picture to look


at than these opinion polls. We have an economy from being a basket


case, the great Labour recession knocking 7% of this economy, hurting


every family, to a point where we the fastest-growing economy in the


developed world. In a year's time, I hope people will see that we are the


people who've taken the difficult decisions, got the economy to the


right place, more security for you and your family. Do not give the car


keys back to the people who crashed it in the first place. If I had a


pound for every time I have heard that! It is clearly not getting


through. On the Pfizer attempted of AstraZeneca, Mr Miliband called this


morning for a tougher public interest test such big takeovers. Do


you agree with that or not? Let me be absolutely clear, if there is any


kind of joining, we are in favour of British jobs,


kind of joining, we are in favour of -- R But what Mr Mallon and wants


to do with rent caps, he is to do with rent caps, he is


wants to take us back to the bad old those. -- bad old days. Should there


be a bigger public interest test? We have seen some takeovers that people


have criticised, but others, like Bentley, Land Rover, which have been


very successful. Should there be a tougher test?! We will have tests


that ensured this get-together becomes a great Anglo-American


project, or it doesn't happen, but the Miliband approach is simply to


be anti-business, anti-jobs and anti-job security. Grant Shapps,


thank you. A challenging week for the Liberal


Democrats with a local election campaign overshadowed by another row


with the Conservatives about knife crime. Adam has spent the day with


Nick Clegg on the campaign trail. How nice! Nick Clegg is taking me on


a political mini break to the Cotswolds. Yes, we are getting the


train. He wants to highlight what his party is doing in local


government, and a personal passion of his in Europe. Graham Watson,


government, and a personal passion Lib Dem MEP for the south-west, has


been running a campaign to have prunes recognised as a laxative. Is


that Lib Dems battling for Britain in Europe? It is not our front page


manifesto commitment! It is one of many things that Graham does, he


does many other things. In fact, he is a good example of an MEP who took


a pioneering role, for instance, in making sure... There is the proven


world, but also the crime-fighting role. -- prune. He has done work to


make sure that when British criminals flee justice, we can bring


them back. And he has promoted prunes! First stop, a gorgeous


country pub, but it turns out everyone is a journalist or a very


on message activist. Dark days, being a Lib Dem in the last few


years? Strangely not. If you find you are a Lib Dem deep down, you do


not get that disheartened, because you know that, locally, you are


doing so well for the people that you live next door to that,


actually, I find I am almost impervious to what happens on a


national level. I am mayor of Cirencester. Have you taken any


leadership lessons from Nick Clegg, inspiring new in your leadership of


Cirencester? I think what he has demonstrated his patience. It has


been a tough time, he has taken a lot of flak, and as the mayor of a


town, lots of people agree with you and a fair few don't. You are a full


on mayor, he is just a Deputy and a fair few don't. You are a full


Minister, do you outrank him? I don't think so, he is in government,


I am not. So our there any normal people in here? We are from


Swindon, you cannot get more abnormal. Are you a big fan of his?


No! What has he done wrong? I don't believe in his views at all. Where


has he got to? Nigel Farage would have had a pint! At this time in the


morning a copy was more appropriate. I have no time for a drink of any


kind, because now we are off to look at a local traffic blackspot. This


is amazing, like a Lib Dem election leaflet brought to life, Lib Dems


pointing at a road. High-vis jackets! Next we had to giggle full


bath, but there will be no Regency sightseeing for us, oh no, Nick is


taking us to an abandoned wilderness. We have just had a


health and safety briefing, we have been told to look out for


dive-bombing seagulls and an angry fox. That is the sort of thing Nick


Clegg has to put up with. He wants to talk about the economy but he has


to dodge the day's beat new story, letters leaked by a Tory suggesting


that Lib Dems are soft on knife crime. Isn't that a new kind of


warfare? I just think it is silly. They may think they are clever by


catching some headlines but they are not helping people who worry about


knife crime, like I do. We work together... Just like the


Coalition! This is a co-working space where different businesses


share the same office. My time with the Deputy Prime Minister is drawing


to a close. We haven't talked about the most important story of the


week, that you were voted the best looking party leader and the most


likely to be a good cook. Right, this is news to me and I can


guarantee you that my scepticism of opinion polls has just been


confirmed. Just as well because the more serious polls don't look great


for him or his party. Goodbye, and thanks for the offer of a ride


home! He is still walking. Malcolm Bruce


joins us now. According to Lib Dem briefing documents, you are likely


to choose -- lose a big chunk of your MEPs. If you lose a lot, what


would that say about a party that boasts of its pro-Europe


credentials? It would be disappointing because we have the


most hard-working MEPs. The worry that we have is that people think


the European Parliament is not important but it takes decisions


that affect us. They would be disappointing for Britain as well as


the Liberal Democrats. Isn't the problem that the more you bang on


about your pro-European credentials, the more you slip in the polls? I do


think so, we have two weeks to go and we are campaigning extremely


hard. You are forced in the polls. I can tell you there are people out


there who do believe Britain should stay in the EU and they are worried


that other parties will take us out. The Liberal Democrats are clear, we


want to stay in, we will work for reform and do it effectively. If you


lose the Liberal Democrats, Britain's influence in Europe will


be weakened. Your track record in Europe shows you have been


spectacularly wrong again and again. In your 2009 manifesto you said the


European Central Bank and the euro have been tried and tested over ten


years providing a clear picture of the benefits of Eurozone membership


and that proved to be nonsense. It was nonsense everywhere. Every


developed bank in the world was tried and tested and failed. Europe


may not be perfect, but the question people have to decide is if we are


going to leave Europe and be isolated on RM, or use our influence


to reform it from inside. We have allies, you work with them, that is


something the Lib Dems do better than any other parties. Your 2004


manifesto, you claim that being outside the euro would lead to job


losses and reduced prosperity. You were just plain wrong, weren't you?


Yes, but the reason is that to some were just plain wrong, weren't you?


extent the euro did not observe any rules and regulations when it was


set up. That is why we never recommended Britain should join at


the outset because the criteria had not been met. In 2001 Nick Clegg was


writing to the Financial Times... Your track record is important. He


wrote that the Tisch monetary policy is not all it is cracked up to be.


Britain would gain greater control over its affairs by joining the


euro. How wrong can he be? We have over its affairs by joining the


always argued that the currency had to abide by strict criteria. It


hasn't done so and that is one to abide by strict criteria. It


the reasons it has to abide by strict criteria. It


recognise there is no future for Britain joining the euro and we are


not advocating it. Lets put your 2010 manifesto on the screen. I


didn't say it was not our long-term interest. If Europe succeeds as an


entity, if the euro becomes one of the world leading currencies, there


will come a point when it may be justified. In the circumstances we


are in the moment, there is no recommended timescale. Let's get


this right. Despite the Eurozone crisis which has cost millions of


jobs, countries that were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the


Eurozone now facing stagnation and some countries on the brink of


deflation, you still won't rule out Britain joining? We are ruling it


out in the foreseeable future. You can miss the point that we are


working as a coalition partner in government that has secured recovery


for the UK, and working as Liberal Democrats in the parliament that


for the UK, and working as Liberal have cut back the European budget


for the UK, and working as Liberal cooperation with others. What would


the world look like if it were right for Britain to join the euro? You


have 27 states at the moment, with too many


have 27 states at the moment, with to meet the criteria so until you


have a strong and cohesive enough single Eurozone in which all the


countries can meet that criteria, Britain is better off out. So a more


centralised Eurozone, that is what you would like Britain to join? No,


because it can only happen by consent. Any circumstances in which


any further powers would be transferred from the UK to the EU,


we would support a referendum. You have just said that for the Eurozone


to work, it has to be more centralised and you said if that


happens, that is what Britain would join. I didn't say that, I said it


would require the consent of all member states to agree to the


criteria. We certainly do not envisage joining in the foreseeable


future. Since you are the proud party of in, why weren't you just


give us a referendum on in or out? Because it has to have a context.


What David Cameron is doing is dangerous because I think the major


players like Britain and France are not keen on the idea of being


bullied into reforms on the instigation of just one member state


which is threatening possibility to withdraw. They will have to agree to


rules... Just have it now. Do you want in or out? To have a referendum


against no background is to put it out of context. We are in the middle


of a crisis, a year away from the general election. We have made it


clear... You said we are in the middle of the Eurozone crisis? So we


are not in the middle of it? What's the middle? The reality is that the


Western world has gone through a deep crisis. The UK is coming out of


it, the Eurozone is coming out of it. Greece have been able to borrow


on the markets in recent weeks which is a sign of success. It is in our


interest is the Eurozone succeeds and recovers and we should be part


of it but not necessarily on the same conditions as everyone else.


The Liberal Democrats work with others to deliver Britain's


interests and if they are not there, their interests will be undermined.


Hello and welcome to the Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland. Dark


forces, cabals and "an embittered rump of the RUC" - how far is Sinn


Fein prepared to go as it accuses the PSNI of political policing over


Gerry Adams' arrest? And with the first demonstration on the streets,


could republicans escalate their protest and just how far would that


protest go? In a specially extended Sunday Politics, we'll hear from all


five Executive parties. So, the man who is arguably the best known of


our active politicians across the world, Gerry Adams, is in his fifth


day of questioning by the PSNI at Antrim police station. He remains


there after a judge gave detectives up until this evening to continue


interviewing the Sinn Fein President. The issue has put


Northern Ireland back on the radar of the world's media, many of whom


have been in Antrim. Our reporter Catherine Morrison is there now.


Catherine, what are the options open to the police? When Gerry Adams


arrived here at Antrim police station voluntarily on Wednesday


night few believed he would still be here five days later. On Friday


night detectives were granted another two days to question him


further. That runs out at five o'clock tonight so at that point


they must either release him, charge him, or apply for an extension.


There was a view he could be kept for up to 20 days but that would


take us over the election period and so seems unlikely. He is being


questioned for up to 17 hours per day. The cells are very basic. Just


a rough bed and buying kit at night. This is perfectly normal practice.


Mr Adams is not being treated any differently to anyone else and it is


all human right is compliant. The clock is ticking and the countdown


is on to the deadline tonight. Thank you. So, the first street protest


over the Sinn Fein leader's detention happened yesterday


afternoon attended by a number of prominent party figures, including


several MLAs. At the West Belfast rally, Martin McGuinness got a


rousing reception from supporters at a newly painted mural of Gerry


Adams. The Deputy First Minister had strong criticism of the PSNI, and


blamed what he cold "an embittered rump of the old RUC" wanting to


settle scores. We fully support the PS NI and a democratic policing of


justice but our support is a political support. No police force


anywhere in the world is immune from criticism if it is acting in a


partisan fashion. The arrest of Gerry Adams is evidence that there


are people in the PSNI who are against the peace protest who hate


Gerry Adams and heat Sinn Fein. -- hate. And just this morning, the


First Minister Peter Robinson has accused Sinn Fein of attempting to


blackmail the police with a "crude and overt political threat". In a


strongly worded statement, Mr Robinson uses the term "bully boy


tactics", and says republicans have crossed the line. With me now are


the Sinn Fein MLA, Gerry Kelly, and the DUP MP, Jeffrey Donaldson. How


much threat do you think the process is under with this arrest? I think


Peter Robinson has a brass neck saying that the process is viable.


He has been defending the protests of flag-wavers and all the rest of


it. There is an issue. We have been very clear about this. The reason


people are pro testing in the street is because this is about political


policing. It is entirely linked to the fact there are two elections


coming up and that Sinn Fein is surging forward is. That is what


this is about. They could have waited until the end. Articles were


written decades ago as well as the so-called Boston tapes and they have


gone through every single thing they have gone through many times before.


They could have done this ten months ago. Gerry Adams himself offered to


come forward five weeks ago. There may well have been reasons for that.


They should clarify that. What I and others believe is that there is


political policing, when we see there is a small cabal through the


PSNI all you have to do is look at what happened in the ombudsman's


office. We demanded an enquiry because when they were a link with


state forces who were suspected of being involved in killings they were


given a pre-packaged of interviews. That is differential policing, it is


not acceptable and we will criticise it. There is the evidence, he says.


I do not accept that. The police have the full legal right to do what


they are doing. Who is this cabal that Sinn Fein are talking about? I


have no doubt that the decision to interview Gerry Adams and the timing


of that would have been decided at the highest levels by the most


senior officers in the PSNI. Is he suggesting they are this cabal, hard


the people inside the pleas force who heat Sinn Fein? I am concerned


that within the senior team there are people who still have the old


guard view of this. I did not see who this included. That is in the


senior edge lawns. Let me make this clear. There are also people in the


senior lecturer lawns who are brought in and who are pushing


things forward but there are others whose influence is there. What about


the statement from your party leader today which talks about Sinn Fein


saying it will be assessed its attitude to policing? The PSNI must


not be the subject of Republican bully boy tactics, does that kind of


language help? It goes to the heart of what the peace process is about.


You are either supporting the policing or not. In terms of this


situation, you cannot on the one hand say police must sue things


impartially and act the same time say if Gerry Adams were to be


charged they must reassess their thinking and support. I am asking if


this language is helpful? The anger on the doorsteps is palpable. People


are very concerned by the very subtle and in some cases not so


subtle pressure that Sinn Fein are trying to apply to the police and


judicial system over this issue. I think there is an attempt to


intimidate the police on this issue. Let's not lose sight of what is at


the heart of this. The abduction of the mother of ten children, her


brutal torture and murder. Our body lay undiscovered for ten years, her


family deprived of the right to grieve the loss. They are entitled


to justice. I do not hear any remorse from Sinn Fein about what


happened to hard. Do you also accept that unless Gerry Adams is found


guilty of this he is an innocent man? Of course he is. That point has


been made by the DUP throughout this process. The police must be allowed


to get on with their job of this investigation, to question whoever


they need to question and find justice for the family of Jean


McConville. No-one should be putting pressure on the police to come up


with the conclusion other than the one which is just and lawful.


Robinson is right to say that when you prevaricate and are unclear


about your support for the rule of law and the police, when it becomes


conditional, that is a breach of what we agreed to at St Andrews. You


would think that Unionists never criticise the police. I sit on the


police board and listen to them attacking the police all the time.


When you take something like the flag protests as an example they


were out attacking the police for their actions so let's not say this


is an absolute support in one way or another. If the police do something


wrong I will be the first out to criticise them. Geoffrey also said


about the family of Jean McConville, one of the first things that Gerry


Adams said was this was a terrible injustice done to a family. To see


another injustice will not help the first injustice. The role thing is


ratcheted up when people hear Gerry Adams -- Martin McGuinness saying


his party will have to rethink their support of the PSNI if Mr Adams is


charged. Went Gerry Adams was arrested instead of speaking to him


the whole thing was ratcheted up. Nobody is arguing that anyone should


be above the law. They have done it in the mouth of an election when


they have had this so-called evidence which is very dubious in


any case, they have had that for ten months and they were questioning him


in the 1970s, this is a fishing exercise. He is being question


now... You do not actually know that. That is my opinion. Unless you


want to bring some police officers here I will give my opinions. You


let the process take its course and you make the decision when the PSNI


decide what happens next. They could have done it some time ago or after


the election, the fact it was done at the time of the election and


taking our reader out who is crucial... Wouldn't that have been a


political calculation to say we cannot get ourselves involved at the


time of an election? You think that it's political? Fair enough, so then


you accept that equally the other decision is elliptical as well?


Gerry Kelly said it was a political decision to arrest him three weeks


before an election. I do not accept that. There is no pardon during the


run-up to an election. The police must be allowed to explain the


evidence they had. It is not our role to second-guess the police.


There is a specialist unit in Carrickfergus totally dedicated to


investigate the soldiers who were associated with the so-called bloody


Sunday. I never hear Sinn Fein saying that is political policing or


complaining about dedicated resources. What Sinn Fein want is


won the army and the police in the dock but they do not want a


Republican in the dock. That is not acceptable. We have already argued


that here is the police having all the evidence, knowing exactly who


the soldiers were involved in bloody Sunday, none of them being arrested


and in fact they know they have all the evidence there because there has


been an inquiry that brought all the evidence out. Will Sinn Fein


withdraw support for policing in Northern Ireland if Mr Adams is


charged? We believe in policing, we call the police to account and will


continue to do so. We will assess... So it is a possibility?


Parker McGuinness has been trying to get Peter Robinson to stand shoulder


to shoulder with him to go through things that have been going on.


Street yes or no? Is there any possibility Sinn Fein will withdraw


its support for policing if Mr Adams is charged? With respect to you, you


are not a lawyer and I am not in court. I will give the ands I want


to give. I am and sitting in my way. Let me answer. We will assess all of


this as we go on. What do you make of that answer? It is like what


Martin McGuinness has said, they will assess the situation, I can say


categorically DUP support for the police is unequivocal. Did you hear


what the justice minister said yesterday when he talked about


pressure being put on the police why everyone when it suits them. The DUP


has not put pressure on any judge or anyone at any time. We will


criticise the police if we think they get something wrong. ) that is


exactly the point, you are allowed to do that but Gerry Kelly is not?


There is the difference between criticising the police and


supporting the police. We support the rule of law. Did you see that


extract earlier? He went on to say that they would monitor the


situation. Our position is clear and our support for the police is


unequivocal. He did not give you a straight answer, as I have. Gerry


Kelly did not say that. We need to leave it there. Thank you both.


The woman at the centre of this investigation, Jean McConville, was


abducted and murdered in 1972. Members of her family have talked


about their thoughts this week. Personally speaking, if anybody is


going to trial, I don't think they should be going to the courts in


Northern Ireland. They should be in the Hague for war crimes, because


this is a war crime. It was ordered by people on the streets. It was an


army that took my mother away. They kidnapped, beat her up for the


length of time that they did, for six or seven days. They tortured her


for six or seven days, and then they took and they executed her. I said


in 1994, the first time I spoke about my mother, I said that I will


campaign for her until the day I die. If anything happens to be, I


have five children who will carry on campaigning for the truth. Helen


McKendry there. Whatever happens to Gerry Adams Ladies Day, whether he


is charged or released, what impact will it have?


Mike Nesbitt and Alasdair McDonnell idea, and the Alliance Party's


deputy leader Naomi Long. How big a bigger lobby in this morning? This


is a proper crisis. Jean McConville's family have been windy


-- waiting 42 years for Gerry Adams to be questioned. It is entirely


self-serving of Sinn Fein to complain that it took the police


seven weeks to respond to the offer from Gerry Adams that he would speak


to them. A man whose name has been associated with a seamless crying


for decades -- a heinous crime for decades office speak to the police.


The police taken up on that offer. Thirdly, the police are attacked by


Sinn, accused without evidence of having a cabal of senior


officers... The timing is important. Gerry Kelly said that three weeks


before people go to the polls North and South of the border, their party


leader is arrested in inaction with something that happened in 1972. And


who is responsible for the timing tee-mac Gerry Adams. He initiated


the process. Last night, I watched the TV coverage of the rally. A


senior Republican introduced Martin McGuinness by saying, how gave a --


how dare they touch our party leader? Does that suggest that Gerry


Adams should be above the law? That is an explicit technician --


admission. They believe that Gerry Adams, and others, are untouchable


in terms of the law. Howdy respond to that, Alistair MacDonald? Simply,


and I don't see this as being primarily about Gerry Adams all the


police, but it is about justice. Jean McConville was kidnapped,


tortured and murdered and buried secretly. It is a heinous crime, a


vile crime, and her ten children were left orphans. They have been


looking for justice for 40 years. It has now become a political issue.


Mike Nesbitt says we are now in a proper crisis. I am not sure we are


in a proper crisis. How would you describe it? I think there is an


amount of spin around it. There is justice required here. The SDLP are


family. We worked through the family.


process and we are still prepared to work with them. Is political


policing responsible for the decision to arrest Gerry Adams at


this time, decision to arrest Gerry Adams at


political policing involved in this. I quite simply


political policing involved in this. voluntarily going to the police, and


he chose the timing. Basically, voluntarily going to the police, and


may or may not have been aware of prepared for


may or may not have been aware of detained him, but Gerry Adams chose


the timing. detained him, but Gerry Adams chose


reservations about the process? I believe we are


reservations about the process? I our actions. I believe the police


are responsible to question any of us who are suspect all have evidence


to give about a crime. Therefore, the police had -- if


to give about a crime. Therefore, not detained him and they had


to give about a crime. Therefore, evidence to detain him, and I


to give about a crime. Therefore, like to see that, but there are so


to give about a crime. Therefore, pieces of the jigsaw here, that none


to give about a crime. Therefore, of us are in a position of the full


facts. A decision to question him, is that political or not? There are


sharply contrasting views of the situation. Both of them aggregate it


when it suits them about the rule of law and throughout the accusation


about political policing when it is someone in their camp who is being


arrested. It is not actually a sap -- has sharply divided as you think.


The truth of the matter is that the police have a job to do and they


must do it in partially. They have to follow when the evidence leads.


The judge has extended questioning for another 48 hours because they


believe there is the questioning continued -- continuing. None of us


are above the law. The people at the heart of this Arnotts Gerry Adams


and Sinn Fein, not the Unionist parties or Stormont or the


politics. The thing at the centre of this is the murder of Jean


McConville and her family's desire for justice. That has to be the


focus, and I think throwing around this political policing all the


time, the bottom line is that if somebody does something wrong or


requires the police to question them about it, that is not political


policing, that is policing. So Sinn Fein have got this wrong? Byes. This


needs to follow due process. This needs to go through the normal


course of law. Gerry Adams is innocent until proven guilty. He has


that right like everyone else, but he has no right to demand that his


questioning or the treatment of him as a potential witness in this


situation should be any different to any other person in society. And yet


you saw how Gerry Kelly reacted, similar to the way that Martin


McGuinness and other Sinn Fein spokespeople have reacted, saying


that that is political policing, there is a Kabbalah, the timing was


deliberate. The timing is what it is. If they delayed until after the


section, that would be political policing. If you take into account


the electoral cycle, when you are undertaking your job as a police


officer, then clearly that is a political decision. If you follow


the lead is where they go and you do the job, that is not political


policing. That is policing. Increasingly, people in the public


are getting fed up listening to politicians throwing around


accusations about political policing, whether it is Gerry Kelly


on the bonnet of a Land Rover, or outbursts on Facebook, people are


tied on it on both sides. We need support for the police and the rule


of law which is unequivocal and direct. What about the language used


by Mike Nesbitt about Peter Robinson? I quoted earlier, talking


about reassessing Sinn Fein's attitude towards the arrest. I put


the pointy Jeffrey Donaldson, that is arguably not helpful in the


current cauldron politics that we find ourselves in. Last night, Alex


Mackie was speaking to air UK wide audience, and he said that we will


support, we can support what we want. What does that mean? It is not


that long ago that Sinn Fein would not condemn the IRA for murdering


and for maiming police officers. What happens now? If a young


nationalists came to me and said, I was thinking about a career in the


PSNI, could I say, go for it. Should I not be worried that he will end up


like Stephen Carroll and Roman kirk? Don't you have to balance that


with what Martin -- Martin McGuinness said about fully


supporting the PSNI in the proper discharge of its duties? You can't


cherry pick. You cannot cherry pick support for the rule of law, and if


we all agree that the police should be operationally independent, we


should all be at home today waiting for eight o'clock to see what the


police do. If we have concerns, we should be taking them to the


policing board. That is what we agreed in 1998. You reserve the


right to criticise the police as well, don't you? How many times have


I quietly gone to speak to the Chief Constable Matt Baggott what I do. I


asked to speak to the chief constable. I say, I want to hear


your side of the story. I will not go out and stand in front of the


cameras and make a big fuss. I have done it several times in the last


couple of years. The police think it is a sensible way to go forward. I


think it is a sensible way to go forward. What we have had is ramping


up in a detrimental way to building community, trust, mutual trust


between politicians... Alistair MacDonald, how important is support


for policing and maintenance of devolution? There is a lot of spin


and Peter Robinson's, as were unhelpful. They are an


electioneering around a situation. This is about justice and truth. It


is about dealing with the past, and we have to deal with the past and


deal with this in the context of the McConvilles, and victims and


survivors generally. That is where we have to take this, not worrying


about the political spin is that I put on it. A final thought? We


should be concerned when people are threatening to sit -- withdraw their


support from the police. It is a serious matter when people bandy


about words like political policing, something which politicians on both


sides have done. What we need to do is recognise that all the crises we


have faith in the last few months have arisen from a lack of our


ability to deal with the past in a copper hands of way. We have to take


this forward into a peace process with credibility. Thank you for


joining us. Time to look back at the political beat in 60 seconds.


Gerry Adams was arrested over the murder of Jean McConville in 1972.


The Sinn Fein president continued to deny any part in the crime. I will


tell the PSNI that I am innocent of any abduction, killing or burial of


Jean McConville. The McConville family believe that the Sinn Fein


president was involved. I have always believed that Gerry


Adams was involved in the murder of my mother, and until the day I die,


I will believe that. For the third time in 18 months,


MLAs debated but did not pass a motion calling for the legalisation


of gay marriage. The traditional values of marriage is the bedrock of


any stable society. The Assembly remembered an independent MLA, but


it emerged that his former assistant will follow him into the chamber.


Some MLAs got little rowdy. The culture minister had that number. It


is like bingo! The culture minister comparing DUP


MLAs to "oul dolls at bingo". Similar O'Connor and Liam Clarke are


with me now. An interesting exchange of views this morning. What have you


made of what you have heard, Fionnuala O'Connor? There is a lot


of spin and froth. I would be inclined to talk this all down, not


just because I would like to, the because people have got themselves


exercise and have other spoken. I wonder if Sinn Fein really have


thought this through. They have done what they do very well, reacted on


the hoof, marshalled their forces in a political sense. But I listened


yesterday to someone saying, what we need to establish now is at what


stage Gerry Adams will end this conversation with the PSNI. At that


stage, I don't know whether Sinn Fein were thinking they would play


this in a very lofty and idealistic way and say that he is helping


police with their enquiries, we are happy to help and we want to help


the McConville family. Perhaps they thought they should handle it like


that, and perhaps they should have. May be that changed when he was


arrested and held for a further 48 hours. That is definitely a part of


it. They are reflecting a lot of anger on the ground among their


people and they are trying to manage that. They are trying to manage and


in the North on the ground. They are trying to manage electoral prospects


in the South will stop in the middle, they have come out saying,


political policing, and that is a hard one to get off, hard for the


police holding Gerry Adams, no doubt not listening to television and


radio as they do so, but definitely under pressure now to hold him for


longer or perhaps to place a charge when they may think there is no


evidence to do it. It is a challenge for Sinn Fein to criticise policing,


to which they are fully committed to this strange -- at this stage?


Lasting damage will be done out of this. People have other spoken --


other spoken. You will have a situation where, if Gerry Adams is


not charged for proper reasons if there is no evidence, people might


say, pressure, that is what gets you off. They will think it is worth


trying. And I think that Sinn Fein by saying, there is still a cab


while at the top of the police, they are giving entitlement to the idea


that they signed to something without examining it. I am not sure


Sinn Fein mean that, but they are creating a situation. It is bad that


the two parties cannot in some way toward making themselves to start


writing this down. You wrote a piece in the Telegraph yesterday, making


the point that if Gerry Adams is not charged, there will be those who


call the conclusion that the PDF and PSNI have caved in under pressure


from Republicans. It is bad in a democracy and you could not imagine


it happening in Britain, or the South, a party threatening the


police. You are creating a situation where people assume that pressure


will work if Gerry Adams is not charged. There is a likelihood that


he will not be charged. Is the PSNI dammed if they do and stand if they


don't? Yes, the police in every society says that situation. It is


comical to listen to saying it is dreadful -- listen to them saying


that they will withdraw support from the police. I remember Ian Paisley


shouting at police, don't come crying to me, when he was being


carried out of Stormont after a long process. What happens next? It will


all depend on if Gerry Adams is charged or not. If he is released,


there will be a scenario. The worst would be if he is charged with


membership and nothing else. We will see what happens later today


perhaps. Thank you very much both. There will be an extended news


report tonight at 10:15pm.


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