Dickson calls on DUP to clarify paramilitary link

Alliance East Antrim candidate Stewart Dickson has called on the DUP to clarify after it appeared to accuse another party of having a “personal vendetta” against loyalist paramilitaries.

Mr Dickson was speaking after the West Belfast DUP page made a post referring to a TUV statement asking “how many SFIRA transfers will be given to DUPUDA”. The DUP page replied to say “it seems the TUV have a personal vendetta not only with the DUP but now loyalist paramilitaries”.

It follows loyalist leader Jackie McDonald endorsing DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Mr Dickson said it appeared the DUP had now “returned the favour”.

“It seems the DUP have an issue with people having a problem with loyalist paramilitaries. It is 2017 – paramilitaries should no longer even exist. Yet we have a political party appearing to return the favour of a UDA endorsement by getting upset over people criticising that same group.

“Does the DUP welcome the support of paramilitaries? The electorate deserves to know, so we should all be told. We have rightly seen outrage about millions in public money going to Charter NI, where the Chief Executive Officer boasted about his involvement with ‘homeland security’. While Charter continues to do some good work, a massive question mark hangs over its link with paramilitaries and relationship with the DUP.

“Arlene Foster had predicted this election would be brutal. Is she content to have the support of paramilitaries who have been responsible for many acts of brutality?”

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