28/01/2002

NIUP member expelled for remarks over murder allegation

A Northern Ireland assembly member has been expelled from the chamber after he made inflammatory remarks in the chamber about another assembly member.

South Antrim MLA Norman Boyd of the Northern Ireland Unionist Party claimed Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh South Tyrone Gerry McHugh had been convicted of murdering a postal worker and was ordered out of the chamber by Deputy Speaker Sir John Gorman.

Mr Boyd made the remarks during an Alliance Party motion on the breakdown on law and order in the assembly chamber on Monday January 28.

After several times refusing to withdraw his comments the Deputy Speaker ‘named’ Mr Boyd and told him to leave the chamber.

Following the incident, Mr McHugh in a statement said the allegations were “untrue and dangerous”. He said: “In the climate where postal workers have been targeted by Loyalist paramilitaries and nationalist communities across the north are being attacked on a daily basis by Loyalists, Mr Boyd’s remarks are both dangerous and stupid.

“This juvenile attempt at felon setting if it remains unchallenged would set a serious precedent and even at this late stage I would challenge Mr Boyd to produce evidence to support his false accusation because I know he has absolutely no evidence.”

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Assembly confirmed the expulsion would last for one day. (AMcE)

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