LVF to stand down members

Loyalist splinter group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), has confirmed it is to stand down its members.

The group said the decision was taken in response to the IRA move to decommission arms in September.

The move comes a day after protestant churchman Mervyn Gibson said the loyalist feud, between the LVF and UVF, had "permanently ended". The feud had escalated over the summer resulting in the deaths of four men.

Commenting on today's news, Ulster Unionist Party leader Sir Reg Empey said he welcomed the decision.

"As I made clear at my Party’s Conference, I will not be found wanting where my help and support is required in assisting Loyalist communities that seek to move towards normality and a better future," he said.

"The momentum created by this needs to be built on. I call on the Secretary of State to accelerate his efforts to get some sustainable community infrastructure in place in Loyalist areas.

"Building up the confidence of the people in battered loyalist communities must become a high government priority in the days ahead.”

Sinn Fein said that while today's announcement was a welcome one, nationalists would judge the LVF on their actions as well as their words.

"Given the history of the LVF nationalists and republicans will of course be cautious of anything being said or promised by them," North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said. "This grouping has a history of sectarian violence, murders and widespread drug dealing. So with relation to the LVF it is very much wait and see."

The LVF was formed by Portadown loyalist Billy Wright after the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) leadership stood down his unit in 1996.

Wright was later shot dead by republicans in the Maze prison in December 1997.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 June 2019
UUP Back Call For Action On Domestic Violence Laws
The leader of the Ulster Unionist Party has backed a call for Westminster to extend legislation that provides protection from coercive control to Northern Ireland. The demand originated with the Chief Inspector for Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland, Brendan McGuigan, for the law that covers the rest of Great Britain to be enacted.
17 June 2019
Susan Boyle To Perform At Belfast's Titanic Slipways
Susan Boyle is set to headline this year's BBC Proms in the Park, which returns to the Titanic Slipways in Belfast this September.
13 June 2019
Other News In Brief
Appeal Issued For Missing West Belfast Teenager The PSNI in West Belfast have issued an appeal for help in tracing the whereabouts of Adam Baxter. The teenager is believed to be in the Twinbrook area of West Belfast and if anyone has had contact with him they are urged to contact police on 101.
22 May 2019
Loyalist Threat Against New Belfast Mayor
The new Lord Mayor of Belfast has told of how the police warned him that loyalists were planning to attack him at his home. Sinn Fein's John Finucane was elected Mayor on Tuesday evening, 21 May, and has revealed that the police came to his house and informed him of the threat later on that night.
09 November 2005
Regeneration in hands of local people says Hanson
Real progress is being made by local people to improve life in the mainly loyalist Tullycarnet estate, Social Development Minister David Hanson said today during a visit to the East Belfast area. Mr Hanson made the visit following the recent establishment of a high level 'Delivery Team' to address the needs of disadvantaged loyalist communities.