Informer saved the life of DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson
An MP has revealed his life was saved after a tip-off from a republican informer enabled him to escape a paramilitary murder bid.
The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson said he wanted to make public details of the incident during the Troubles to add balance to a renewed debate in the region over the contentious use of state agents.
The Lagan Valley MP, who has been given knighthood by Queen Elizabeth, said the information allowed police to take action and ensured he was not at his Co Down home when the murder squad arrived.
"It's important that we understand with all this debate that's going on about the morality of using informers, some of us are alive today because of the use of informers," he said.
"Every day I thank God that I am alive today because others acted in a way that prevented my death."
Mr Donaldson said he was being targeted in an attempt to “derail the peace process at the time”.
The use of agents has become the focus of intense public scrutiny in the wake of the Police Ombudsman's Loughinisland report that found a police agent was a suspect in the murder of six Catholic men in a country pub in 1994.
Mr Donaldson said it was important the debate on informers looked at the "full picture".
"There is big debate now in the aftermath of the Ombudsman's report about whether it is right to use informers and I just wanted to make clear that lives were saved as a result of the use of informers, my own included," he said.