THE DUP have reacted with anger after Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly is to take legal action against the PSNI chief constable over last summer’s ‘Landrovergate’ incident.
The north Belfast Policing Board member tried to block a police Land Rover during nationalist protests at an Orange Order parade in Belfast last summer.
Unionists demanded that Gerry Kelly be charged after he was carried for a short distance, clinging to the front of the vehicle, when he claimed he tried to speak to officers involved in the arrest of a teenage boy.
Police and the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire investigated the incident at Carrick Hill last June during the loyalist Tour of the North parade, and a file was sent to the Public Prosecutions Service.
But there will be no prosecution. Instead, Mr Kelly, an MLA for north Belfast, was given an “informed warning” by police.
A police officer has accepted a formal reprimand for his part in the incident.
DUP North Belfast MP branded the Sinn Fein politician’s decision to sue Chief Constable Matt as “outrageous”.
The DUP deputy leader said: “This is one of the most petty and small-minded actions ever witnessed from Sinn Fein.
“Gerry Kelly is a member of the Policing Board yet sees fit to waste further police time and resources with this civil case.
“Republicans have given support to the police but yet some members of Sinn Fein engage in posturing in an attempt to distract the most discontented elements.
“That can be the only explanation for this latest stunt, unless of course it is just a blatant attempt to perpetuate community tensions.’
A Sinn Fein spokesman said: “Gerry Kelly has taken a civil case against the PSNI chief constable (Matt Baggott) over the incident in Carrick Hill last year.
“Gerry Kelly, in common with any other citizen, is entitled to access the courts when he believes he has been wronged.”