A former UVF member jailed for robbery and carrying arms has joined the DUP, it has been revealed.
Ex-Progressive Unionist Party deputy chairman Tommy Sandford served three years in prison in the 1970s in the same compound as Gusty Spence.
But he quit the PUP last summer over its links with the UVF after the group sanctioned the assassination of Bobby Moffett.
The 67-year-old was also a Castlereagh councillor for the PUP between 2001 and 2005 and has a long record as a community worker in Cregagh.
“In all the time I was on the council not one unionist ever pointed the finger at me in terms of being an ex-terrorist. I got the respect as a councillor and I gave that back,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“The DUP I felt is on the right path to secure what I want to secure, a secure and stable peace for people in Northern Ireland.”
The party’s East Belfast constituency chairman, Lord Browne, said: “I have no doubt that Tommy will be a great asset to us.”