Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness says he hopes Gregory Campbell remains at Stormont and continues to enjoye sharing power with Sinn Féin after the latter raised his IRA past in the Assembly on Monday.
Mr Campbell suggested Mr McGuinness lacked credibility on the past.
He once again referred to Mr McGuinness’ career as Adjutant of the Londonderry Brigade of the Provisional IRA in the early 1970s and Saville’s claim that he was probably armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun on Bloody Sunday.
Mr Campbell regularly raises Mr McGuinness IRA background, most recently doing so in September.
He did so again on Monday, addressing the senior Sinn Féiner: “Does he not agree that better progress would be made if, for example, he tried to shore up whatever credibility he has with his past? On a number of occasions in the Chamber, I have alluded to his possession of a sub-machine gun, as was contained in the Saville report; his involvement, if he had any, in the shooting dead of two policemen three days before Bloody Sunday; the Claudy bomb; and the murder of a prison officer a few years after Bloody Sunday.
“Those things all happened when the deputy First Minister was the 2IC [second in command] of the Provisional IRA in Londonderry, yet he denied knowledge or involvement in any of them. So, where does his credibility stand?”
Mr McGuinness responded: “I never imagined for one minute that the fresh start would extend to the Member who has just spoken. The Member is often, in this Chamber, prepared to quote all sorts of falsehoods and innuendo about my past.
“I am glad that the Member mentioned the Saville report. The reality is that the most significant ruling made by Lord Saville was that he believed the IRA’s evidence.
“I went forward as a member of the IRA, and my evidence was believed by Lord Saville, and the evidence of the paratroopers and the British Army was
“So, it is not a great issue for the Member to raise in this House, particularly as someone who comes from the city of Derry.
“From my perspective, I look at all this on the basis that, over the next while, the Member will have a big decision to make in relation to his future and whether or not he will remain in this House or go to another place.
“I hope that he remains in this House and continues to enjoy sharing power with Sinn Féin.”