McAllister says unionists need to show leadership and help bring Twaddell to an end

Alliance North Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister has said local unionist parties need to show leadership and help bring the Twaddell Avenue loyalist protest camp to an end after it was revealed it had cost the taxpayer more than £18 million to police to date.

Councillor McAllister said the DUP and UUP’s support of the camp, which has now been in existence for 1,000 days, was helping sustain it and draining crucial funds from the public purse which could be spent on various other services.

“The figure of £18 million is both stunning and horrifying,” she said.

“That money could easily be spent on tackling the dissident threat or putting resources into community policing. Those parties such as the DUP and UUP who continue to express support for the camp need to take a serious look at themselves. How can they still give backing to something which is effectively a massive black hole in our already precarious public finances?

“Everyone has the right to express their culture and tradition but with those rights come responsibilities. That responsibility involves moving Northern Ireland forward. The time has long passed for the camp to be ended and for the police to be able to do their job instead of sitting there night after night.

“A determination was made and we must all abide by it. It’s not for people – including the DUP and UUP – to decide which aspects of the rule of law they support or not.”

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