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‘Politicians playing with matches’ over Northern Ireland

Politicians need to come together to prevent further violence in Northern Ireland, the former British chief negotiator for the Good Friday Agreement has said.

Jonathan Powell told BBC World News: “I don’t think this will take us back into the Troubles but I do think politicians are playing with matches. This is the time of year in Northern Ireland when as the evenings grow longer you can get into sustained rioting…

“I really do think it’s incumbent on the political leaders in Northern Ireland to come together and to actually do the right thing to stop this. They can do that if they unite. It’s also time for the British government to get involved along with the Irish government.”

Northern Ireland’s power-sharing executive said it was “gravely concerned” by the recent street violence. It has called for calm to be restored.

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