BDTV TOUR OF THE NORTH: DUP ACCUSE SINN FEIN MLAS OF ‘UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR’

 

 

 

 

THE row over the Tour of the North parade rumbles on with DUP attacking Sinn Fein over the conduct of two Sinn Fein MLAs on Friday night.

A DUP MLA says Gerry Kelly should face criminal charges while Caral Ni Chuilin should be investigated by the Stormont Assembly.

The Police Ombudsman is investigating after Sinn Fein claimed a police land rover struck Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin at Carrick Hill.

She was taken to hospital and treated for ligament damage and later discharged.

And north Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly was carried on the front of a police land rover as he tried to talk to the PSNI over the arrest of a youth for riotous behaviour.

The incident has sparked calls for the Policing Board member to be charged with obstructing a police vehicle.

However, Sinn Fein is to seek an urgent meeting with Chief Constable Matt Baggott over the conduct of PSNI officers on duty at Carrick Hill.

DUP Policing Board Member Jonathan Craig has hit out at the behaviour of Sinn Fein members Gerry Kelly and Caral NiCuilin.

The Lagan Valley MLA has questioned how their behaviour fitted the standards expected of them not just as MLAs but as a Policing Board member and an Executive Minister.

Mr Craig said: “The behaviour of two Sinn Fein members, including one Minister in the Executive was completely unacceptable.

“The parade passed off peacefully with exemplary behaviour on the part of participants.

“There was an attempt however by republicans to attack the parade which can only have been motivated by bigotry.

“It is disappointing that rather than condemn such behaviour Sinn Fein seemed to defend it.

“The Policing Board holds the Police to account for their actions, but it is absolutely unacceptable for any member to attempt to direct or obstruct the Police in the execution of their duties.

“I will be raising this issue at the Policing Board and also examining fully whether Mr Kelly’s actions are in line with the Code of Conduct for members.

“Last year Sinn Fein and other nationalist politicians placed a great deal of importance on the behaviour of Ministers.

“Ministers have a duty to uphold the rule of law and promote good community relations.

“The behaviour of Caral NiCuilin patently does not match up to those standards.

“There may also be a role for the Committee on Standards within the Assembly to look at this incident and the behaviour of these two MLAs.

“A huge amount of work was put in by both the Orange Institution and others in the run up to this parade to ensure that it passed off peacefully.

“The police had a duty to apprehend those republicans who attempted to attack the parade and stir-up violent confrontation.

“Anyone obstructing the police should be the focus of investigation instead of lodging complaints with the Police Ombudsman,” he added.

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