Northern Ireland

First Minister Peter Robinson rejects 'cowardice' claims

First Minister Peter Robinson has rejected Sinn Féin claims he was showing cowardice as a politician.

Earlier this month Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness accused Mr Robinson of "cowardice of the worst kind".

He claimed Mr Robinson had not spoken out about alleged UVF involvement in violence and racist intimidation.

Mr Robinson said actions of the IRA during the Troubles showed they had been involved in "cowardice of the worst kind."

In the assembly, the first minister listed a series of IRA atrocities including the Enniskillen and La Mon bombing.

He told fellow MLAs during question time that he would not "take lectures from anyone about cowardice".

In response, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA said: "I have stood shoulder to shoulder with unionist leaders in condemning the activities of so-called dissident republicans.

"We have not seen the same united approach in response to UVF-orchestrated violence against isolated members of our ethnic minority communities, against the small nationalist community of the Short Strand, against the PSNI during the flag protests or against Alliance party offices."