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Bogside-bred union boss Steve Hedley suspended over tirade against Tories backed cop killer duo

Steve Hedley

A Derry-born trade union boss suspended from his job after saying he would "throw a party" if Boris Johnson died of coronavirus once offered his support to a pair of convicted cop killers.

Steve Hedley, the assistant chief of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, is now under investigation by the organisation after also saying he hoped the entire Cabinet contracted deadly Covid-19.

When one of his social media followers pointed out the Prime Minister could die, Hedley replied: "Yes, poor virus. I hope the whole cabinet of Tory b******s get it too. I don't want to offend you but if Bojo pops his clogs I'm throwing a party. I hope the whole cabinet and higher echelons of the Tory party have been touching various bits of him."

The £100,000-per-year union official was stood down on Friday following his outrageous social media comments.

But this is not the first time Hedley, who grew up in the Bogside, has courted controversy. He previously offered support to republicans Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton, who are serving life sentences for the 2009 murder of PSNI constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon.

Hedley said: "We have looked at the evidence as a union and we think at the very least there should be a review of what happened. It's no good waiting for 20-odd years and having a review after that and setting people free when their lives are destroyed."

The RMT currently represents 83,000 members across Britain. Its motion backing McConville and Wootton was later adopted as national policy.

In a 2016 interview recalling his formative years in Derry, Steve Hedley explained how he was "enthralled" by republican icons from the past like James Connolly.

During his career as a senior union official Hedley has complained about being the victim of "dirty tricks" and "Irish jokes".

Belfast Telegraph