Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Kelly wheel clamp removal 'blown out of all proportion,' says Sinn Fein MP Molloy

A Sinn Fein MP said the reaction to his party's justice and policing spokesman removing a wheel clamp from his car with bolt cutters had been "blown out of all proportion".

Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy suggested security concerns may have been behind Mr Kelly's motivations.

There have been calls for the North Belfast MLA to quit after he was caught on camera removing the clamp with bolt cutters. He has since been interviewed by police.

Video footage of the incident, which occurred last Friday, shows Mr Kelly coming out of a silver car in Exchange Street, behind the Metropolitan Arts Centre.

On the driver's window of the car is a large 'Stop' sign warning of the clamp.

The MLA is seen bending down to lift a set of bolt cutters, before appearing to work at a chain under the car. He then appears to remove the orange clamp from the vehicle's right-hand wheel, before resting it against a nearby wall.

Speaking to the BBC on Monday, MP Francie Molloy said: "This has been blown out of all proportion.

"There are security issues in relation to Gerry Kelly.... but I don't know all the details to it."

Incoming Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald appeared lost for words when quizzed on the matter by reporters on Sunday.

She said Mr Kelly's solicitors were dealing with the issue, and she did not yet have "the facts of exactly what happened".

The CCTV footage of Gerry Kelly using bolt cutters to remove clamp
The CCTV footage of Gerry Kelly using bolt cutters to remove clamp
The CCTV footage of Gerry Kelly using bolt cutters to remove clamp
General view of a clamping zone on Exchange Street in Belfast City Centre where footage was recorded of Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly removing a clamp from his car. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
The CCTV footage of Gerry Kelly using bolt cutters to remove clamp
The CCTV footage of Gerry Kelly using bolt cutters to remove clamp
General view of a clamping zone on Exchange Street in Belfast City Centre where footage was recorded of Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly removing a clamp from his car. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
General view of a clamping zone on Exchange Street in Belfast City Centre where footage was recorded of Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly removing a clamp from his car. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
General view of a clamping zone on Exchange Street in Belfast City Centre where footage was recorded of Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly removing a clamp from his car. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Screen grabs from social media showing Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly removing a wheel clamp from his car parked in Belfast city centre on Friday morning.
Gerry Kelly used bolt cutters on a clamped car close to the MAC in Belfast on February 2 2018 (Photo by Belfast Telegraph)

Asked why Mr Kelly was carrying a set of bolt cutters, Ms McDonald laughed: "I have absolutely no idea."

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