Police say they are treating an attack by loyalists on a police officer in Belfast on Monday night as attempted murder. A gang threw a petrol bomb into his unmarked vehicle after surrounding and smashing it.
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers says Loyalist thugs who have rioted for eight nights in Belfast have brought shame on the Union flag. She told the Commons that 32 police officers had been hurt and 38 people charged over the violence:
No-one can be in any doubt about this Government's support for the union and its flag, but those people engaged in the kind of violence we have seen in the past few days are not defending the Union flag. There is nothing remotely British about what they are doing; they are dishonouring and shaming the flag of our country with their lawless and violent activities. They discredit the cause they claim to support.
The Democratic Ulster Party's Paul Givan described the attack as despicable. He said protests should be stopped if they could not be peaceful.
It is vital that those who continue to have protests, if they cannot guarantee that there will be no violence; that there will be no blocking of roads and no disruption to people's way of life, that they do not go out onto the streets and they should desist from that activity.
The Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, will make a statement to the Commons this afternoon following the violence in Belfast. It follows a request by Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Vernon Coaker.
Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker says the Government needs to make an urgent statement about the violence in Northern Ireland:
Loyalist paramilitaries have been involved in orchestrating sustained rioting and tonight [Monday] a group of masked men tried to murder police officers by throwing a petrol bomb into a police car.
On Friday, dissident republican paramilitaries were apprehended with a rocket destined for use in an attack against the police. Violence night after night would not be tolerated in London, Dublin, Cardiff or Edinburgh. It should not be tolerated in Belfast.
A clear and strong political response at Westminster is needed. The House of Commons urgently needs to discuss what is happening in Northern Ireland, and the Secretary of State should make a statement about the steps the Government are taking.
– Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Vernon Coaker