Wednesday 23 October 2019

Councillor's 'local homes for local people' leaflet not sanctioned by DUP party

Jonathan Bell

The DUP has moved to distance itself from a councillor's election leaflet calling for immigration controls and "local homes for local people" - saying the material was not approved by it.

On Tuesday the leaflet in the forthcoming election candidate in Botanic Councillor Graham Craig's name was circulated widely on social media.

Underlining he was the local unionist councillor, he pledged "local homes for local people" as well as "taking back control of immigration" something outside the remit of the city council.

He also pledged more funding for loyalist areas, to defend unionism at City Hall and more alley gates in residential areas.

Encouraging people to register to vote, it added: "In June 2017, South Belfast elected Emma Little-Pengelly as their MP.

"It is vital that we maintain the momentum."

The Alliance party leader said she assumed it was fake and called on MP Little Pengelly or Councillor Craig to say if they were behind the material.

"It's a racist, sectarian mess," Naomi Long said.

Belfast Deputy Mayor Emmet McDonough-Brown called for the DUP to dismiss Councillor Craig.

The DUP said the leaflet was not sanctioned.

The party's leader of the council group, Lee Reynolds said: "This was produced by Cllr Graham Craig. It was not sanctioned by the party.

"Housing and immigration are important issues but also deeply sensitive and should be handled in that manner.

"This leaflet clearly fails to do so.

"An instruction that it should not be distributed has been given to Cllr Craig and the matter referred to party officers."

Councillor Craig could not be reached for comment on Wednesday morning.

Belfast Telegraph

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