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Statement from UUP Leader Steve Aiken OBE MLA

UUP Leader Steve Aiken OBE MLA said: 

“The anger that has been felt over the last number of days would not have existed had it not been for Sinn Fein’s actions at the Bobby Storey funeral in breaching the very COVID-19 regulations they had set. 

“The UUP has been a stalwart supporter of the PSNI from its very inception. The dedication, commitment and courage of the rank-and-file members of the police is an inspiration to all of the people of Northern Ireland. They are regularly placed in invidious situations and have to hold the line in a wide variety of situations, including the very real threat of terrorism, and having to deal with public safety issues during this COVID-19 pandemic.  

“However, as the events of the recent weeks have shown, the PSNI is not a normal policing role.  It is not a police force similar to county constabularies in England, it is one of the most challenging policing roles anywhere and in consequence needs an outstanding level of leadership that can have the support of all communities across Northern Ireland.  It is very clear to us that the senior leadership of the PSNI has failed, and no longer has the support of much of our community.  It is with regret that it has come to this, but it is clear that without the support of much of the community he seeks to serve, it is time for the Chief Constable to resign. He no longer has our support.”

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Ulster Unionists