Northern Ireland’s First and Deputy First Ministers have given upbeat assessments of the chances of a cross-party vote on the devolution of policing and justice powers being passed in the Assembly next Tuesday.

Speaking in Co Down this afternoon, Martin McGuinness said that he was confident that Sinn Féin and the DUP would carry the vote.

He said he hoped the deal, recently agreed at Hillsborough Castle, would have the support of all the parties in the Assembly, but that if it did not, it would still be passed.

Last weekend the deputy leader of the DUP, Nigel Dodds, had indicated that his party would not support the deal if it did not have the backing of the Ulster Unionist Party.

However this afternoon First Minister Peter Robinson said that he did not detect any level of concern from any section of the community regarding the structures which were being proposed.

Mr Robinson said that he had only received one letter expressing concern at the Hillsborough deal.