Unionist Paramilitaries Accused of Threatening Unionist Party
Illegal Unionist Paramilitaries Accused of Threatening Unionist Party
A challenger for the leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party has claimed the outlawed UDA was involved in threats and intimidation against his supporters. Jeffery Donaldson MP made the claims as the DUP moved to ratify Edwin Poots as the new leader of the party.
The UDA is one of the illegal paramilitary groups that make up the Loyalist Community Council and withdrew support for the Good Friday Agreement. Their spokespersons have recently said that violence remained an option in the campaign to end the Brexit Irish Protocol, threatened a summer of chaos, and demanded the sacking of the Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.,
Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has said reports that the UDA attempted to influence the DUP leadership contest, if true, are deeply disturbing.
The North Belfast MP said:
"If true, this is a very worrying development that an armed, illegal organization was involved in influencing the outcome of the leadership contest of the largest party in unionism and a party of government.
"It represents an attempt to subvert the democratic process and that is totally unacceptable.
“Armed groups have no place in society, and certainly not in the business of government.
“The PSNI needs to investigate these reports to find out whether they are accurate and establish exactly what happened and the DUP has a responsibility to fully co-operate with that investigation.”