The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesperson Tom Elliott MLA has responded to claims by Peter Robinson in a radio interview that the DUP was “locked into” a situation set up by the Ulster Unionist Party regarding the Maze.
Mr Elliott said;
“Peter Robinson is ignoring the fact that Edwin Poots sat on the Committee chaired by David Campbell and agreed on behalf of the DUP on the proposals which he alleges locked the DUP into the situation.
Edwin Poots was also one of three DUP Environment Ministers who did not lift a finger to try to delist the retained prison buildings.
What puzzles us is the way that the First Minister now fluctuates from selling the proposals as the best thing since sliced bread and then crying foul the next.
This is simply the latest position to be adopted by the DUP on the proposed IRA shrine at the Maze and is evidence of just how rattled they are. .
It is absolutely ludicrous and is up there with the excuse that a child might give saying, ‘a big boy did it and ran away.’
The fact is that the DUP is the Party which is pressing ahead with this project despite what their Deputy Party Leader Nigel Dodds said in 2007;
"However it is dressed up, whatever spin is deployed, the preservation of a section of the H-Blocks - including the hospital wing - would become a shrine to the terrorists who committed suicide in the Maze in the 1980s. That would be obnoxious to the vast majority of people and is something unionist people cannot accept."
The DUP have not been locked in to the Maze shrine by the Ulster Unionist Party or anyone else.
The retention of the Prison Buildings and siting of a centre at the Maze is opposed by the Ulster Unionist Party, the TUV, UKIP, thirteen Victims Groups, the Orange Order, the RUC George Cross Association, the RUC Widows Association, the UDR Regimental Association and the Prison Officers Association.
The only pro-Union organisations supporting this project are the DUP and the UDA. It is for them to say why they are supporting Sinn Fein and exactly why the centre has to be built at the Maze?”