Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Bryson denies 'outrageous allegation' of being member of UVF

Jamie Bryson
Jamie Bryson

Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson has denied being a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Mr Bryson was asked the question by presenter Stephen Nolan on his BBC Radio Ulster show on Wednesday, August 21.

The 29-year-old appeared on the programme to discuss the role of loyalists in the media alongside former Red Hand Commando Jim Wilson and journalist Malachi O'Doherty.

Mr Bryson categorically denied that he was a member of or a spokesperson for the UVF.

"I absolutely am not in the UVF and for a start that would be a criminal offence, that's an outrageous allegation to make," he said.

Asked if he was a spokesperson for the paramilitary group Mr Bryson rejected the suggestion.

"No I am not, I have made this clear on numerous occasions and I'm happy to do so again," he replied.

Mr Nolan asked the loyalist blogger how he could "be close to their thinking and know what they're thinking if you're not a spokesperson for them".

"To be a spokesperson for the UVF would be a criminal offence, the UVF are an illegal organisation, the UVF can speak for themselves,"  Mr Bryson replied.

BBC NI’s Stephen Nolan
BBC NI’s Stephen Nolan

Mr Wilson said the line of questioning was "completely unfair" against Mr Bryson and that former IRA members were not asked similar questions.

Mr Bryson said that he was happy to address the issue but wanted to "deal with it for the last time".

"I'm sick of listening to it, I'm not doing it week in, week out, because it's not done to other commentators" he said.

"People within the loyalist community, people who would have been ex-combatants, people who would have been involved in the UVF are entitled to have a voice and have their concerns articulated on the media.

"A lot of those concerns are concerns which I share, that does not mean that I am part of that group or I am speaking for that group, because I absolutely am not, but I do support positive transition work and positive efforts to bring the loyalist community forward."

Mr Bryson first came to prominence during the loyalist flag protests in 2012 and has appeared on the Nolan Show on numerous occasions in recent years.

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