Belfast Telegraph

DUP councillor may face legal action for 'defamatory' tweet

DUP’s Graham Craig
DUP’s Graham Craig
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

An Alliance Party member has said she can take the "cut and thrust" of politics - but hit out at a Belfast DUP councillor for "crossing the line" with remarks about her on social media.

Graham Craig now faces possible legal action after reacting to a post by Sorcha Eastwood about a rally for the Ballymurphy Massacre victims.

Ms Eastwood had spoken at the Ballymurphy March for Truth rally. She had later said the Alliance Party stood in "solidarity with the Ballymurphy families and with all victims and survivors".

Councillor Craig responded to the tweet on Monday night, sparking a huge reaction before he deleted the post on Tuesday morning.

His comments cannot be published.

Ms Eastwood said that while she put up with a "fair amount", the tweet had "crossed a line".

"I don't mind the cut and thrust of politics," she added. Alliance leader Naomi Long tweeted to the DUP councillor asking him to delete the post and apologise.

The Alliance Party said the DUP had questions to answer over the tweet.

It added: "We expect a full retraction and apology from councillor Graham Craig for this outrageous, dangerous and defamatory comment."

Last night Mr Craig's Twitter account was only visible to confirmed followers.

East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson later tweeted: "In addition to legal action by Sorcha Eastwood, this needs to be reported to the Local Government Standards Commissioner."

He added: "Clearly this person needs to be scrutinised to determine if he is a fit person to hold public office now and in the future."

The Belfast Telegraph contacted the DUP for a comment, but had not received a response by the time of going to press.

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