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TUV member: I’m sorry for linking PSNI with Gestapo

By Rebecca Black

A Traditional Unionist Voice councillor has apologised after comparing the PSNI to the most infamous secret police force in history.

Cecil Calvert told a meeting of Lisburn City Council on Tuesday that the PSNI was “just like the Gestapo”.

It is understood the former mayor harbours resentment towards the PSNI over its actions during contentious Orange parades in Stoneyford.

His remarks this week came as councillors discussed the night-time closure of Lisburn police station.

Members of Lisburn's District Policing Partnership claim District PSNI Commander Chief Superintendent Henry Irvine announced plans to close the police station at night first to the media before consulting them.

Mayor Allan Ewart asked Mr Calvert to withdraw the comment but he refused.

DUP councillor Paul Givan said: “To compare the PSNI with the Gestapo responsible for the murder of six million Jews in Nazi Germany is simply outrageous.”

Mr Givan said he would bring the matter up at next month’s council meeting and demand an apology.

The council has formally disassociated itself from his comments.

Ulster Unionist councillor Basil McCrea said although Mr Calvert's comments were “inappropriate” and were made during a “heated debate”, while Alliance councillor Trevor Lunn described the comments as “silly”.

Although Mr Calvert refused to retract the comment during the council meeting, he apologised yesterday.

“I regret that in the heat of the moment I made a wholly inappropriate comparison between the conduct of the PSNI and that of the Gestapo. I therefore wish to withdraw these comments,” he said.

“I do, of course, reserve the right to criticise the police and indeed the debate in which the remarks were made was one proposed by another party of no confidence in the local commander.”

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