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Stormont committee suspended after Jim Allister called a 'thug' by DUP's Sammy Wilson


The DUP's Sammy Wilson

The DUP's Sammy Wilson

The DUP's Sammy Wilson

A Stormont committee has been cut short after TUV leader Jim Allister was branded a 'thug' by the DUP's Sammy Wilson.

He was accused of 'bullying' a witness - special adviser Stephen Brimstone.

Jim Allister took exception to the comment, and chairman - Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey - asked the former Finance Minister to withdraw it.

"I am going to have to ask you Sammy, you need to reflect on that remark," he said.

Refusing to do so, the hearing was then suspended by Mr Maskey.

Afterwards, the SDLP's Dolores Kelly claimed Mr Wilson had "crossed the line" and said she would be referring the matter to the Assembly watchdog.

"As an MP and an MLA, Mr Wilson has significant experience of what is appropriate parliamentary behaviour," she said.

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"Today he has crossed the line and I will be referring this matter to the Assembly Standards Commissioner."

The sitting of the social development committee had planned to run for two hours.

It was probing if there was any impropriety or irregularity relating to contracts managed by the Housing Executive.

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