Belfast Telegraph

'Stooge' jibe at DUP councillor as tempers flare over Belfast City Council motion

BY Rebecca Black

Sinn Fein's leader on Belfast City Council launched a personal attack on DUP councillor Brian Kingston in an extraordinary rant against a motion rejecting terrorism.

Councillor Kingston proposed that the council "confirms its rejection of terrorism and reaffirms its opposition to the promotion of proscribed paramilitary organisations which have engaged in terrorism both currently and in the past".

Sinn Fein councillor Jim McVeigh accused the DUP of hypocrisy, saying when commenting on matters like this, he tries to be mindful of all victims.

He accused the DUP of being ambivalent about a recent BBC Spotlight programme which unmasked several loyalists and also about Anne Cadwallader's recent book on collusion between members of the security forces and loyalists.

Councillor McVeigh then launched into a blistering personal attack on councillor Kingston, accusing him of being a "DUP stooge".

"His four motions to council have been about the Bible, investing in some decrepit battleship that got dumped, on Prince George and now this motion," he told council.

"This is a person who represents one of the most deprived communities in Belfast, the Shankill."

He accused councillor Kingston of being "divisive" and "spending time on trivial matters such as ships", referring to the campaign to save HMS Caroline, and blasted him as a "DUP stooge and puppet".

The SDLP put forward an amendment to councillor Kingston's motion to include the rejection of State violence from a number of organisations.

It was voted down with 39 against and just six votes for.

Councillor Kingston's original proposal was carried by 23 votes to 16, with Alliance describing it as a "small step forward", and urged people to start being nicer to each other.

Sinn Fein voted against the motion which councillor Kingston described as "hugely disappointing" after the meeting.

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