Northern Ireland news

Attack on Alliance and UUP constituency offices branded 'completely unacceptable'

An attack on the neighbouring offices of Alliance assembly member Kellie Armstrong and Ulster Unionist assembly member Mike Nesbitt in Newtownards early yesterday was caught on CCTV
Marie Louise McConville

An attack on the offices of two political parties in Northern Ireland has been described as "completely unacceptable".

The offices of Ulster Unionist assembly member Mike Nesbitt and Alliance assembly member Kellie Armstrong in South Street in Newtownards were targeted early yesterday.

Just after midnight on yesterday, a wheelie bin was put in front of both offices, which stand side -by-side, and attempts were made to set them alight.

Kellie Armstrong described the attack, which was caught on her CCTV security system, as "completely unacceptable".

"In the early hours of Tuesday morning, two masked men attempted to set fire to my constituency office and the constituency office of Mike Nesbitt, with flammable liquid sprayed on office signs, shutters and over two wheelie bins," she said.

"Thankfully, the damage to the offices was limited to scorched bins. Attacks on the offices of any political parties are completely unacceptable. Nobody should have to face intimidation, harassment and abuse in order to do their jobs and represent the public".

Ulster Unionist assembly member Mike Nesbitt said he didn't know who had carried out the attack or "what their motivation was".

"All I can say is if it was a political grievance, these things only get resolved with brains not brawn," he said.

"I don't know what their motivation was but in terms of advancing a cause, it simply doesn't."

A PSNI spokesman appealed for information about the arson attack.

"In both instances wheelie bins have been placed at the properties and attempts were made to set them alight," he said.

"We are appealing for anyone who might have information which may assist the investigation to contact police on 101..."

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Northern Ireland news