Northern Ireland news

DUP MP and Ulster Unionist candidate attend loyalist meeting amid calls to oppose Brexit 'Betrayal Act'

Loyalist Jamie Bryson said the meetings were 'organic events, aimed at encouraging friends and family to vote'. Picture by Alan Lewis/

FURTHER meetings organised by loyalists angry at Boris Johnson's Brexit plans have taken place in Belfast and Antrim.

There was a meeting in Sandy Row Orange Hall in Belfast organised by a group calling itself the Concerned Unionists of South Belfast.

A meeting also took place in the Steeple Inn in Antrim town organised by United Unionists Antrim, where high-profile loyalist Jamie Bryson spoke.

DUP South Antrim MP Paul Girvan and Ulster Unionist Westminster candidate Danny Kinahan joined in a panel discussion at the Antrim meeting.

Voter registration clinics have been organised by loyalists to coincide with the gatherings to try to maximise votes in key constituencies.

Mr Bryson said they were "organic events, aimed at encouraging friends and family to vote", claiming that nationalists were running an "aggressive Irish nationalist" campaign in an attempt to "unseat unionist MPs".

Read More: Loyalists meet in unprecedented show of unity over Brexit 'betrayal'

"We will not sit idly by and allow Boris Johnson's betrayal act to drive Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom and into an economic united Ireland," he said.

Loyalists have reacted angrily to plans by the prime minister to create a 'sea border' between Britain and Northern Ireland under his Brexit deal with EU leaders.

A meeting organised in east Belfast last month was attended by a number of senior paramilitary figures from once rival factions.

Read More: Loyalists plan 'war of attrition'

Last week there were two further meetings, including one in the constituency of DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds.

The media were allowed to film the opening comments but in the main the media have been excluded from the meetings.

A further meeting was held in Newtownards, Co Down, under the banner of Unite Unionist Group and the British People’s Voice.

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