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Robinson accuses Blair of 'deception by omission'

Peter Robinson pictured at a speech in Belfast earlier this week. Credit: PA

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair engaged in a "deliberate deception by omission" by failing to tell the majority of politicians in Northern Ireland about the agreement his government struck with Sinn Fein to deal with on-the-run republicans, Stormont's First Minister has said.

Peter Robinson heavily criticised the conduct of the previous Labour administration as he addressed an emergency meeting at Stormont to debate the controversy over letters sent to more than 180 terror suspects informing them the authorities in the UK were not seeking them.

"The answer that there were no plans to legislate and no amnesty would be introduced was a deliberate deception, a deception by omission, for the Government could easily at that stage have indicated that there was an administrative process which included giving letters to OTRs," he told MLAs.

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McGuinness: Resignation 'would achieve nothing'

Stormont's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said should the First Minister resign it would achieve "absolutely nothing".

Asked what he thought of Peter Robinson's threat to leave his post, he said: "I have to ask the question, what would that achieve?

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont today.
Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont today. Credit: ITV News

"It could lead to an election and Sinn Fein has no difficulty with elections ... but what would that achieve? In my view absolutely nothing."

Mr McGuinness urged politicians to "stop the grandstanding" and stressed "steady leadership, responsible leadership" is needed going forward.

Read: Govt 'urgently looking into call for secret letters inquiry

NI First Minister: 'We are in a crisis'

The collapse of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing case has sparked a crisis in the judicial system according to Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson

Mr Robinson said: "We're not on the brink of a crisis, we are in a crisis. This is a crisis. How could you have anything more than the setting aside of the proper judicial processes, where justice is not going to be done for at least 187 people?

"It is a crisis of confidence that the people of Northern Ireland will have on the policing and judicial processes in Northern Ireland and they are right to be angry."

Peter Robinson: Government 'kept us in the dark'

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson has threatened to resign over the collapse of the case over the 1982 Hyde Park bombing and saying his administration have been deceived by Westminster.

Mr Robinson told UTV News he was "not prepared to remain as First Minister of an administration that kept us in the dark, that is being deceived by government, both past and present."

Read more: NI First Minister threatens to quit over case collapse

Robinson 'will not be a stooge for Westminster'

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said he was "not prepared to be a stooge" for the Westminster government, accusing them of "keeping secrets" on matters devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Read: NI First Minister threatens to quit over case collapse

His party, the Democratic Unionist Party, expressed his thoughts on Twitter.

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Peter Robinson MLA - "I am not prepared to be a stooge for Westminster who keep secrets on matters which are now devolved to NI"

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Peter Robinson MLA - "I want a full judicial inquiry to find out who knew, when they knew and what they knew"

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Peter Robinson MLA "I am not prepared to be kept in the dark by Her Majesty's government about matters relevant to Northern Ireland"

More: Robinson demands judicial inquiry

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Peter Robinson demands judicial inquiry

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson indicated he was prepared to resign unless there was a judicial inquiry into the collapse of the John Downey case, saying:

"I have to say quite frankly that I am not prepared to be the first minister of a government that is kept in the dark on matters that are relevant to what we are doing."

NI First Minister threatens to quit over case collapse

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson has threatened to resign over the collapse of the case over the 1982 Hyde Park bombing.

Mr Robinson told UTV News he, "will not lead an administration where the rule of law does not prevail."

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson.
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Clinton praised for 'instrumental' role in peace process

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Credit: ITV News

The First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson praised US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her "instrumental" role in the peace process.

He said: "Very often, we will sit down, and somebody will mention someone who has claimed to be instrumental in the peace process, and Martin and I look at each other, and say 'Do you know them?'

"But you are one person who has consistently helped us. You have been a great friend to Northern Ireland."

G8 summit announcement 'vote of confidence in N Ireland'

Northern Ireland's First Minister has welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement that next year's G8 summit of world leaders will be held in County Fermanagh:

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G8 decision is a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland. Very welcome and great opportunity to showcase the province.

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