Northern Ireland news

PSNI yet to speak to reporter accused of harassing Luke Poots

DUP councillor Luke Poots

POLICE have yet to speak to the BBC reporter accused of harassing DUP councillor Luke Poots.

The Lisburn and Castlereagh representative claimed to have reported journalist Kevin Magee to the PSNI after it was revealed that a planning application to build three houses to replace Mr Poots's home was made in his mother's maiden name.

The 28-year-old councillor – whose father is DUP MLA Edwin Poots – is also alleged to have approached a neighbouring landowner about buying a site access strip while chair of the council's planning committee.

A note believed to have been written by Mr Poots appears to set out the proposal – and also suggests the landowner could get planning approval for his own development "worth £150,000 to £200,000".

When contacted by the BBC, Mr Poots denied writing the note or making the approach and insisted he had done nothing improper over attempts to develop the land at his home.

Mr Poots is already under investigation by the council standards watchdog over an alleged conflict of interest after he voted in favour of planning decisions lobbied for by his father.

The PSNI would not comment on the complaint against Mr Magee but The Irish News understands he has yet to be interviewed by officers.

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