Belfast Telegraph

Embattled Belfast councillor Jolene Bunting launches UK Freedom Rallies 'lobby group'

By Andrew Madden, Local Democracy Reporter

Belfast councillor Jolene Bunting has launched a lobby group - less than 24 hours after it was revealed she is being investigated by the Commissioner for Standards over her recent conduct.

“UK Freedom Rallies” has been formed to “defend fundamental freedoms” that are being “threatened by an increasingly authoritarian globalist political establishment”, according to a press release issued by Cllr Bunting.

Earlier this week, the Commissioner for Standards office confirmed an investigation into Jolene Bunting’s conduct is underway, just days after City Hall sources said Ms Bunting “will be disqualified” from standing in next year's Local Elections.

In the past 18 months alone, more than 100 formal and informal complaints have been filed against the former TUV rep with the Commissioner.

Councillor Bunting is a known supporter of and has links to far-right groups Britain First and Generation Identity - who last week put a niqab on a Belfast statue as part of a “ban the burqa” campaign.

Jolene Bunting’s press release states UK Freedom Rallies will also fight against “an aggressive and often violent, fascistic far left” that seem “intent on silencing any voice that disagrees with their narrow view of the world”.

In recent months, Jolene Bunting has helped organised two “UK Freedom Rallies” in response to the recent jailing of former EDL leader and convicted mortgage fraudster Tommy Robinson for contempt of court.

These rallies have result in public face-offs between citizens, far-right groups and Ms Bunting’s supporters, opposite anti-fascist groups, trade unions, other City Hall councillors, divided by a police line.

Ms Bunting's press release also lists numerous concerns UK Freedom Rallies has, including Brexit and immigration.

“The freedoms that we see being threatened are freedom of speech and religion, freedom to express our national identity and freedom from the EU,” the release adds.

A third “UK Freedom Rally” has been organised for July 14 - two days after the Twelfth, while a counter protest has also been organised by Belfast Anti-Facists for the same time, date and venue - Belfast City Hall.

It is understood that once the Commissioner's office has completed their investigation into Ms Bunting and its accompanying report, adjudication proceedings will take place before the end of the year.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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