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Campbell launches online attack against Irish News

DUP's Gregory Campbell lashed out at the Irish News

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has launched an outspoken attack on The Irish News after the paper carried an article pointing out he'd been contradicted by his own party.

Writing on Facebook, the East Derry MLA said: "I see the good old Royalty hating, DUP bashing, truth avoiding Irish News are attacking me again. Never a paper to let the facts get in the way of a good story."

On Wednesday Mr Campbell had claimed in a radio interview that salaries received by in-out ministers during their short periods in office had been returned.

He said he understood the party's ministers had written a cheque and presented it to the assembly's finance office.

The veteran DUP man described an Irish News report that ministers were being paid as a "classic Irish News non story", adding that "they're specialists at that".

However, by lunchtime on Wednesday the party had admitted that it had only started the process of paying back the money.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Campbell accused the paper of being "truth avoiding".

He added: "How's the circulation of your 'newspaper' at the moment, using the word newspaper very loosely of course."

The comment was 'liked' by dozens of people including party colleague David Simpson.

It is not the first time a senior DUP figure has publicly criticised The Irish News.

In March 2013, Peter Robinson called for people to "stop reading The Irish News" following questions raised about a 12-day trip to America by the party leader and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The Irish News contacted Mr Campbell for a comment yesterday, but he did not respond.

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