Northern Ireland

Suspended DUP councillor declines to say if he will run for another election

Marc Collins
Marc Collins Marc Collins

A DUP councillor who was suspended over tweets about Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has declined to say if he will run for election again next year.

Mid and East Antrim councillor Marc Collins received the eight-month sanction earlier this year after a local government watchdog said he had breached a code of conduct.

As reported by Belfast Live, he has declined to say if he will contest the next council elections in May.

He also dismissed as "inaccurate" claims that he had failed to attend an internal party meeting to select candidates.

In a statement, the DUP also said it did not comment on internal party processes.

In June, the Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman found his Twitter activity during the 2019 election was "personally abusive" and had "contributed towards a toxic atmosphere".

He had posted a tweet making unfounded claims that Mr Finucane, who was running for election in north Belfast, "supports and promotes the IRA" and "isn't innocent by any means".

Mr Collins also re-tweeted a message that promoted banners in Belfast that contained allegations against members of the Finucane family.

He is also facing an investigation by the council standards watchdog after he objected to a hotel in Carrickfergus being used temporarily for some migrants last year.

His remarks on Facebook at the time were criticised, when he said there were "plenty within our own communities who need help first and foremost".