Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“Ruth Patterson made comments on Facebook which she quickly withdrew and issued a fulsome apology for.
“It is unfortunate that they have, with the help of certain media outlets, allowed the focus to be taken off the Sinn Fein/IRA terror fest in a town they repeatedly blew to bits.
“That said, the PSNI action in arresting and charging Councillor Patterson is completely uncalled for, particularly when contrasted with the kid glove approached adopted when dealing with Gerry Kelly – a convicted bomber who is still out on licence and very publicly obstructed a police land rover – or convicted bank robber Alex Maskey – who defended stone throwing on television when tensions in Belfast were already running dangerously high.
“This news, when put alongside the PSNI’s repeated failed attempts to return victims’ campaigner William Frazer to jail, will only serve to increase the disconnect between Unionists and the police.
“One wonders if the PSNI will be just as robust when it comes to enforcing the Parades Commission’s determination in relation to Castlederg. I and many others will watch with interest to see if any breach of the determination – which makes clear there is to be no paramilitary clothing worn or depictions of weaponry – will result in action which is as swift and robust”.