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DUP's Gregory Campbell alleges ‘illegality’ link in departure of two Sinn Féin MLAs

Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan were asked to consider their positions in April after a high level review.

Gregory Campbell
Gregory Campbell
Image: Niall Carson

GREGORY CAMPBELL HAS alleged that two Sinn Féin MLAs were asked to step aside amid concerns about illegality in community associations in republican areas.

The DUP MP, speaking under privilege at Westminster’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, said he has written to the Chief Constable of the PSNI about the matter.

In April, two Sinn Féin MLAs for Foyle, Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan, were asked to consider their positions after a high level review into governance of the local group.

Speaking today, Campbell said: “A week ago, I wrote to the Chief Constable about allegations of illegality amongst community associations in republican areas where Sinn Féin members are involved.

“In fact, my understanding is that there may well be a connection between that and a recent investigation by Sinn Féin, which has resulted in two Sinn Féin MLAs being asked to step down from the Stormont assembly.”

Campbell made the comments when speaking with the chairman of the Loyalist Communities Council, David Campbell.

He said he had yet to hear back from the Chief Constable or Sinn Féin on the matter.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson told the PA news agency: “Rather than asking politically motivated questions to the representatives of armed loyalist criminal groups it would fit Gregory Campbell better to be telling all armed criminal groups to end their actions and go away.

“If Gregory Campbell has any information about allegations of criminality he should bring them forward to the PSNI.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “We have received correspondence on this matter which is currently under review, we have no further comment to make at this time.”

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Asked if there was any truth to the allegations, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said: “Absolutely not.

“Can I just advise Gregory Campbell or anyone else to be extremely careful not to blacken or smear the names of honourable people. That is absolutely not the case and I would just advise very great caution to make allegations like that. It was nothing of the sort.

“What happened in Foyle was just a very standard political review, nothing more exciting than that. That’s what we do when we mind and manage the party.

“All of those in Foyle are people of good standing and there has been no allegation or complaint of corruption. I would thank Gregory to show a little bit more restraint and respect for people’s good names.”

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