Belfast Telegraph

DUP aide quizzed over camera in toilet

By Deborah McAleese

A former adviser to Upper Bann MP David Simpson has been arrested after a camera was found in the toilets of his constituency office, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

David McConaghie, a former adviser, Press officer and speech writer for Upper Bann MP David Simpson, was questioned by police on suspicion of voyeurism.

He has since been released pending further police inquiries.

The married 47-year-old Free Presbyterian minister was arrested after Mr Simpson contacted police in September when a hidden camera was found inside a toilet cubicle used by both male and female members of staff at the MP’s office in Thomas Street, Portadown.

He is no longer working for Mr Simpson and is understood to no longer be a member of the DUP.

When contacted by the Belfast Telegraph, Mr McConaghie refused to discuss the case and referred us to his legal representatives.

His solicitor Neil Logan, from Wilson and Nesbitt Solicitors, said: “David McConaghie has not been charged with anything. Until such times as the police take further action we would not be prepared to make any further comment.”

Mr McConaghie, who lives in Lurgan with his wife, played a major role in the success of the DUP’s Upper Bann election campaign in 2005 when Mr Simpson unseated the UUP’s David Trimble.

He later became chairman of the DUP in Craigavon and remained a trusted associate of Mr Simpson until his arrest.

Mr Simpson said last night that Mr McConaghie no longer works for him.

“The police are currently investigating issues pertaining to an individual brought to their attention by myself. I no longer employ this individual and he does not hold any office in the party. No further comment will be made on the matter,” he said.

The PSNI said that on September 25 it received a report of an incident at premises in the Thomas Street area of Portadown.

“A 47-year-old male was later arrested and has since been released on bail pending further inquiries,” a PSNI spokeswoman added.

Mr McConaghie, a senior member of the Independent Orange Order, is also a highly regarded member of the Free Presbyterian Church.

He was minister of Maghaberry Elim Church before he switched to the Rev Ian Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, and at one stage was seen as a contender to replace the Rev Paisley as the church moderator.

As a member of the Caleb Foundation, an evangelical lobbying organisation, he worked closely with DUP members and church figures to push for the inclusion of creationist beliefs to be included at the new visitor centre at the Giant’s Causeway.

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