The Government was forced yesterday to call off a meeting involving the Rev Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams as Tony Blair's new bid to get the Northern Ireland peace process on track suffered a setback.
Talks had been planned at Stormont involving the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein on the policy objectives of a future Stor-mont executive. But the meeting was postponed when the DUP accused the Government of reneging on written commitments that Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein would sign up next month to a ministerial code and pledge to support the police and the rule of law.
A furious Mr Paisley, who under the Government's plan would be nominated on November 24 as Northern Ireland's First Minister alongside the former IRA commander as Deputy First Minister, said: "We are in this fight to keep the British Government to the promises they made.
"None of these promises are verbal. They are written down.
"They know if they don't keep them, they will be taken out and pushed down their throats."