Belfast Telegraph

UUP councillor reported over ethnic cleansing jibe at Sinn Fein

Comments: Arnold Hatch
Comments: Arnold Hatch

By Gillian Halliday

A UUP councillor who accused Sinn Fein of "trying to cleanse Protestants out of the country" in the past has been reported to a standards watchdog.

Arnold Hatch, who sits on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, made the remarks while discussing a motion proposed by Sinn Fein over concerns about Brexit.

The discussion took place at a full council meeting in September. The Local Government Commissioner for Standards confirmed yesterday it had received a complaint earlier this month.

The notice of motion was proposed by Sinn Fein's Kevin Savage, who voiced concerns about the impact of Brexit on businesses and agriculture. In the ensuing debate, Mr Hatch said he thought it was "ironic" that Sinn Fein had brought forward the motion, which was later defeated.

"A party who had targeted business owners and farming families and tried to cleanse Protestants out of this country," said Mr Hatch.

His remark was recorded in official minutes of the meeting.

The office of the Local Government Commissioner for Standards yesterday revealed the complaint is currently under consideration.

"The complaint will be assessed so that a decision can be made on whether it is one that should be investigated by this office," it said.

Sinn Fein failed to respond to a request for comment.

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