Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has called on the UUP leader, Mike Nesbitt, to explain why his party expressed support for convicted drug dealer and senior east Belfast loyalist David McConnell.
Speaking today Alex Maskey MLA said:
“Serious questions need to be answered on why a senior member of the Ulster Unionist Party wrote to a Belfast court to supply a reference for senior East Belfast loyalist David McConnell.
“David McConnell has previously been convicted in 2000 of possession of drugs.
“Now he has been further convicted of possession of drugs with intent to supply and having £275 in counterfeit money following the discovery of a cannabis factory.
“Despite this references came from the UUP MLA. Did he discuss this with his party? Did Mr Copeland make his party leader aware that he was writing a reference for Mr McConnell.
“Is Mike Nesbitt aware of the nature of the relationship between David McConnell and Mr Copeland given that the east Belfast MLA recently signed Mr McConnell into a private meeting in Stormont?
“I call on Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt to provide the public with answers to these very pertinent questions.”