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PUP member and former leading flag protester supports injunction on loyalist bonfires

PUP director of communications, Jonny Harvey, has defended a Belfast City Council injunction on four loyalist bonfire sites last month

A MEMBER of the PUP and a former leading figure in the flag protests has defended a Belfast City Council injunction on loyalist bonfire sites.

Jonny Harvey, who is the PUP's communications director, said he agreed with "any injunction brought to protect life and property".

The injunction was passed by Belfast City Council on July 6, ahead of the Eleventh Night bonfires.

The order was an attempt to prevent people dumping more material at four sites in east Belfast, but several alleged breaches have been reported to the council.

Unionist councillors and elected representatives have so far refused to publicly state if they supported the injunction.

Alliance and Sinn Féin councillors claimed that the application for the order was supported by all political parties, but the DUP, UUP and PUP have declined to comment.

During a dispute on Twitter with loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson, Mr Harvey wrote: "At no point did the injunction that I read criminalise cultural expressions."

Mr Bryson asked: "So you are defending the injunction secretly brought against East Belfast sites?"

Mr Harvey replied: "Secret? Sure it was all over the media from the start. And yes, I agree with any injunction brought to protect life and property!"

Mr Bryson said that it was "finally" an "admission from the PUP that they supported the targeting of the EB sites."

"What transpired at council and the actions of our councillors are subject to an enquiry and all will become clear as a result," responded Mr Harvey.

Mr Harvey was a previously a member of the committee of Ulster Protestant Voice, which was formed by union flag protesters in January 2013 after the decision of Belfast City Council to restrict the flying of the flag over City Hall.

In August 2013 he was cleared of all charges after being accused of assaulting a police officer, resisting police and using disorderly behaviour during a flag protest on the Newtownards Road.

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