Northern Ireland

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson: Those who make threats are not beyond the reach of the law

An investigation into the alleged threats against Sir Jeffrey has detected no criminal offences, the PSNI has said.

DUP Leader Jeffrey Donaldson  speaks to the media as Party leaders and officials attend a meeting  at Stormont Castle  to discuss the key issues for an incoming Stormont executive.
The Northern Ireland Assembly will sit on Saturday, two years exactly since power-sharing collapsed.
PICTURE: COLM LENAGHAN
PARTY MEETING AT STORMONT CASTLE DUP Leader Jeffrey Donaldson said he had been threatened over negotiations with the British government PICTURE: COLM LENAGHAN

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson looks ‘at best foolish’ after an investigation into alleged threats against the DUP leader detected no criminal offences.

TUV leader Jim Allister called on Sir Jeffrey to apologise “and withdraw his deliberate slur on those he tried to blacken.”

Sir Jeffrey told the Commons last month how he had been subjected to threats as he continued his negotiations with the British government over a deal on post-Brexit trading arrangements.

The DUP later confirmed the matter had been reported to the police.

The PSNI today confirmed that a probe into the alleged threats had detected no criminal offences.

A DUP spokesperson said the decision not to press charges was made by the party leader.

Sir Jeffrey first revealed the threats during an impassioned Westminster speech shortly before his party ended its two-year boycott of the Stormont powersharing institutions.

He told the Commons: “And yet today, because of the stirring up that is going on, I was threatened, threatened, by those who never put on a uniform, by those who haven’t served our country.”

He added: “They are threatening people like me, who’s working day and night to try and find solutions and to move Northern Ireland forward on a basis that the vast majority of people can support.

“Well, I would just say this to those who stir up, and those who threaten: the provisional IRA attacked me in the past and it didn’t deflect me from the task that I have, and my colleagues have, to do our job and to get the best that we can for Northern Ireland.”

Mr Allister said: “Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s claim in the House of Commons that he had been threatened was couched to try to inflict maximum damage by association with those of us opposing his protocol sell-out. He directly linked the alleged threat to such opposition.

“Now that it turns out there was no criminal threat, Sir Jeffrey not just looks, at best, foolish, but needs to man up and withdraw his deliberate slur on those he tried to blacken.”

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said people who made threats against him now know “they are not beyond the reach of the law” as a police investigation into the matter ends.

In a statement, Sir Jeffrey said: “I thank the police for their investigative efforts.

“A decision was made not to press charges.

“Those who made the threats now know they are not beyond the reach of the law.

“They cannot threaten people in public life and stay anonymous from the police.

“I want to see more people in public life where issues are debated and discussed through democratic politics alone.

“We must stand against those who would seek to bully with violent threats.

“I wasn’t intimidated out of politics 30 years ago and I won’t be intimidated in 2024.”