A DUP council candidate has denied being a UDA supporter, despite attending an event glorifying the terror gang and wearing a T-shirt branded with its logo.
When confronted by Sunday Life, ex-soldier David McKee, who is standing in the Collin ward of Belfast in next month's elections, conceded: "I admit it looks bad, doesn't it? I'm not a member of the UDA, and I don't support terrorism.
"I was a member of the UPRG (UDA's political wing), but I left to join the DUP."
McKee denied his light blue T-shirt contained a UDA logo, claiming that it was a UPRG (Ulster Political Research Group) symbol. However, when the image is magnified it is crystal clear that it is a UDA badge.
The wannabe politician said he was friends with some of those in the image, while others were loyalists from Birmingham who had travelled to the Seymour Hill area of Dunmurry for the terror get-together. Standing next to McKee in the photograph is racist UDA member Stephen 'Crofty' Croft, who was filmed earlier this month drunkenly ranting at Middle Eastern staff in a Belfast takeaway. Pointing to his UDA tattoo, cowardly Croft screamed at the frightened workers: "F**k off back to Iraq, f**k off back to your own country.
"You're dead. You'll be shot by the time I leave here. See that UVF, UDA, UFF (pointing at his tattoos). I'll have you shot boy by the end of the night."
Loyalists who provided Sunday Life with the picture of DUP member David McKee at the UDA function claim he is a supporter of the terror gang.
"David can deny it all he wants, but that photograph paints a thousand words," said our source.
"If he's not a UDA supporter why is he going along to benefit nights for the organisation while wearing a T-shirt with its badge?"
The nine loyalists with McKee in the image proudly pose in front of a UDA flag listing its four South Belfast battalions.
Another holds a carved UDA badge while race hate idiot Stephen Croft, standing next to the DUP man, clasps a UFF symbol with a 'Simply the Best' inscription.
Asked if he thought the picture will damage his election hopes, heavily-tattooed McKee added: "I hope not because this estate (Suffolk) needs an elected representative." He then said reflectively: "I wonder who gave it (the image) to you? Someone must have it in for me."
In a statement issued later through the DUP press office, McKee, who served two tours of Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Regiment, added: "I repudiate all forms of criminality.
"Democracy is how to effect change in society. That is why I am standing for election.
"Paramilitaries have no place in Northern Ireland today. The DUP has a clear position on law and order, and I support this position wholeheartedly."
The image of McKee at the UDA benefit night has once again raised questions over the DUP's links to the UDA.
Senior figures in the terror gang including Jimmy Birch, Dee Stitt and Jackie McDonald have close working relationships with some of the party's politicians.
Ex-UDA prisoners have also stood in elections for the DUP, like Sam 'Chalky' White in Belfast.