Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin urged to clamp down on Gerry Kelly

Sinn Fein said Gerry Kelly MLA returned to his car after an early morning gym session to find that his car had been made immobile by a clamp just after 7.20am

SINN Féin was facing calls to take action against Gerry Kelly last night after the party’s policing spokesman removed a clamp from his car.

Police confirmed that they are investigating a report of criminal damage after the North Belfast MLA was filmed using what appeared to be bolt cutters to detach the clamp.

A private company had clamped his car after it was parked in a restricted area near a gym he was using in the city centre on Friday.

Sinn Fein leader-in-waiting Mary Lou McDonald appeared confused when quizzed on the matter by reporters yesterday.

She said she did not yet have "the facts of exactly what happened" and Mr Kelly's solicitors were dealing with the issue.

When asked why Mr Kelly was carrying a set of bolt cutters, Ms McDonald chuckled: "I have absolutely no idea.

"I have absolutely no clue why Gerry has a bolt cutter in his car."

Read more: Gerry Kelly has a colourful relationship with the law

Video: Gerry Kelly filmed removing a clamp from his car

Sinn Féin said his solicitor is dealing with the matter. DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds claimed it was symptomatic of a “wider pattern” of Sinn Féin behaviour and represented a “significant test for the leadership”. He said he was not holding his breath waiting for action from the republican party's leadership.

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs said Mr Kelly should “do the decent thing and resign”.

The DUP said Sinn Fein's leadership faces a "significant test".

It is the latest row to hit Sinn Fein after its West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff resigned under pressure after posting a tweet with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the republican Kingsmill massacre in 1976.

Late last night Mr Kelly tweeted: “No-one can be above the law. I made a voluntary arrangement to meet the police and met them today for interview. I want to get the issue resolved as soon as possible.” 

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