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Sinn Féin plans to take seats on revived Policing Board

Michelle O'Neill said her party would take its seats on a reconstituted Policing Board. Picture by Ben Tucker

Sinn Féin will take its seats on the Policing Board when the oversight body is reconstituted later this year.

The Stormont impasse means no-one has the authority to appoint members to the board but Secretary of State Karen Bradley plans to introduce legislation next month that will pave the way for fresh appointees.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill said her party supported the re-establishment of the Policing Board and planned to take its its seats when they became available.

"We have to speak to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) in terms of how that is taken forward and we are actively engaged in conversation with them," she told the BBC.

Ms O'Neill said: "The policing project was a very difficult project because of the nature of society here".

Previously, both Policing Board chair Anne Connolly, and the Chief Constable George Hamilton have voiced concern about the lack of oversight.

The Policing Board is supposed to be composed of ten politicians and nine independent members but it has not met in since January last year.

The bill the secretary of state plans to bring forward will enable her to reconstitute the the board's political members, as well as appointing independent members, in a move normally reserved for Stormont's justice minister.

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