Government urged to make statement over Belfast violence
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
One bomb device exploded in Belfast close to a patrol car parked near the offices of the East Belfast MP Naomi Long, a member of the non-sectarian Alliance Party who has been warned her life is under threat.
Last week Ms Long was told by police to stay away from her home and her office on the Newtownards Road because of fears for her safety. Constituency offices used by the party were also attacked in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim and Bangor, Co Down.
Today's violence follows a council decision to limit the flying of the Union flag to designated days only. Ms Long's Alliance Party has been blamed by the loyalists for supporting the nationalist SDLP and Sinn Fein in pushing through the vote to lower the flag.