Cllr. Long said, “Following the violence which the UDA has been linked to in recent weeks, including two shooting incidents, I would ask that the UUP group in Belfast cut their links with the UPRG who provide political analysis to the UDA. It is all very well for some Ulster Unionists to condemn the violence but surely they have to wonder about what kind of signal this continued link with the UDA is sending.
“One has to ask exactly what the UDA would have to do before the UUP in City Hall would exclude Frank McCoubrey from their group. The UDA are not on ceasefire, have not given up a single weapon and the last fortnight has shown that they are willing to wreak havoc and attack the legitimate forces of law and order rather than end their criminality. Surely it cannot be worth a few extra Committee places in City Hall to maintain a link with an organisation which has failed to deliver anything positive for our community.
“I particularly feel that the fact that Frank McCoubrey being one of the UUP’s two DPP representatives sends a very poor message. How can someone who is linked to an active terrorist organisation scrutinise the Police? It is absolutely ridiculous and yet the UUP continue to facilitate it.
“It is time that it was made clear to the UDA that ongoing violence will not be tolerated. We already have demanded an end to funding for loyalists and the UUP must send an equally clear message by ending their pact with the UPRG in City Hall.”