Newly released British State documents reveal just how bad relations between the Ulster Unionist Party and the Northern Ireland Office were during the negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement.
In a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, UUP leader David Trimble complained that "most officials in the NIO were treacherous", adding that he had "no confidence" in Secretary of State Mo Mowlam.
But Dr Mowlam was able to give as good as she got, complaining to Mr Trimble in February about "a vicious and unwarranted attack" on her by UUP MP Ken Maginnis, in which he called her a liar "during this loss of control".
Dr Mowlam said she was "not prepared to accept this sort of personal verbal attack", and would not do business with Maginnis again until she got an apology.
She added: "I am sorry to trouble you with this, but it is just one of many such incidents in recent times involving myself and my officials, and it has got to stop."
More on the latest UK state paper release:
- Disagreement over exclusion of Sinn Féin from all-party talks
- British withheld information on Niedermayer kidnapping
- Celtic Rangers match proposed ahead of Good Friday Agreement vote
- Ahern a 'pragmatic negotiator' who could be 'ruthless'
- Mowlam 'steered off' Parliamentary Oath concession for Sinn Féin