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28 May 2021

Any acts of intimidation should be reported to police – Edwin Poots

28 May 2021

The new DUP leader has said any allegations of threats to anyone should be reported to police.

Edwin Poots was responding to reports that his former rival for the leadership of the party Sir Jeffrey Donaldson claimed loyalist group the UDA had threatened members of his team.

The Irish Independent has reported that Sir Jeffrey made the claim during the meeting of the DUP on Thursday night to ratify Mr Poots’ election as leader.

Democratic Unionist Party meet to ratify new leader (PA Wire)

Mr Poots said no members of his team engaged in acts of intimidation, insisting they fought a fair and clean campaign.

“If that’s the case then Jeffrey should report that to police,” Mr Poots told reporters in Belfast on Friday.

“If anyone was intimidated, that should be reported to police.

“I can assure you categorically that no member of my team engaged in any activities of intimidation or bullying. We fought a fair campaign, we fought a clean campaign, it was a close contest, I accepted the outcome and I would have accepted the outcome if I had lost it.

I have conducted myself correctly and appropriately and with honour throughout all of this process and I will continue to do that in my role as leader of this party.

“I would encourage all others, if there was anything that was done untoward by any individual, then that should be reported to police, and it certainly didn’t come from my team.”

Asked if he felt snubbed by Sir Jeffrey, Lord Dodds and Gregory Campbell, who were among those who left the meeting before his speech following his ratification as leader, Mr Poots responded: “It’s for Nigel and Jeffrey and others to answer for themselves, I have conducted myself correctly and appropriately and with honour throughout all of this process and I will continue to do that in my role as leader of this party.”

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