Northern Ireland news

'Irony' over Boris Johnson's backing says No Stone Unturned filmmaker

Conservative MP Boris Johnson with journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey
Brendan Hughes

THEY received a warm reception from a host of MPs, but there was some surprise at the rapid support of one high-profile politician.

Investigative journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey travelled to Westminister last week to highlight concerns for press freedom following their arrest over information used in their Loughinisland documentary No Stone Unturned.

Among the positive engagements the pair had with MPs across the political spectrum was a chat with Tory MP and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson.

After briefly hearing their case, Mr Johnston was soon expressing his outrage at the treatment of the two journalists and posed for a photo.

Posting on Twitter, Mr Birney quipped: "Boris promised he'd give our case the same consideration he'd applied to Brexit and impact on Ireland. We're sorted."

Mr Birney yesterday said it was a "significant trip with some great meetings at Westminster".

He welcomed Mr Johnson's support, but added: "It was ironic and very telling he was willing to throw his weight behind us after what was a very brief meeting."

The journalists' award-winning film documentary, No Stone Unturned, investigated claims of state collusion in the 1994 Loughinisland massacre in which six men were murdered by the UVF.

Police arrested the journalists earlier this year in a probe into the suspected theft of Police Ombudsman documents linked to the atrocity.

The pair have criticised their arrest as an attack on the press, but police have defended their actions.

Mr Birney praised the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) for organising the Westminster trip, which involved a special showing of the film at its head office.


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