Northern Ireland news

Police treating Colum Eastwood death threats 'seriously'

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood

DEATH threats targeting Colum Eastwood are being treated seriously by police, according to the SDLP leader.

The Foyle MP received a number of threats via email and online in the wake of naming the British army paratrooper charged with murdering civil rights marchers on Bloody Sunday.

Some of the threats are understood to have also targeted members of his family.

Mr Eastwood used parliamentary privilege to name Soldier F at Westminster earlier this week.

The House of Commons speaker subsequently said he did not break any rules.

The SDLP leader said today that he had passed details of the threats to the PSNI, who he said were treating them seriously.

“Over the course of the last number of days I have received a substantial number of death threats," he said.

“No threat from faceless cowards will deter or prevent me from standing up for the people of Derry and the Bloody Sunday families."

Mr Eastwood said those responsible could "expect a knock on the door" from police.

He has received support from a number of Stormont leaders.

Alliance leader Naomi Long said she was sending Mr Eastwood, his family and the SDLP "support and solidarity".

"Completely unacceptable and reprehensible that politicians and their families are still subject to threat," she tweeted.

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie said the threat was "simply unacceptable".

"Cowards doing what cowards do," the Upper Bann MLA tweeted.

A PSNI spokesperson said police received a complaint that threatening and offensive comments had been made online.

"Police enquiries are ongoing into this matter."

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