[Sinn Fein]

12th December 2001

SDLP must explain Policing Board move to community

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly MLA has said that many people will pose questions to the SDLP after today's meeting of the Policing Board agreed a badge, which includes British symbols.

Mr. Kelly said:

``On the day that Nuala O'Loan delivered her damning report into the RUC leadership and Special Branch and in the wake of continuing revelations surrounding the murder of Pat Finucane many people will be astonished that the Policing Board met to discuss badges. The fact is that the Board is powerless to hold the RUC or the Special Branch to account and today showed that up in stark terms.

``Many people are now openly raising questions about the ineffectiveness of the Board and the participation of the SDLP in it. It is now up to them to explain why the Board cannot deal with the issue of collusion or the issue of the Special Branch and to explain to the nationalist and republican community why they agreed to a badge containing the symb9ol of the British state, something which is outside the terms of Patten.''ENDS

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