Frazer hecklers disrupt Assembly session

The disturbance happened at the start of the plenary session when TUV leader Jim Allister tried to raise a point of order.

The North Antrim MLA wanted to voice his opposition to the length of time that prominent loyalist Willie Frazer was being held in custody over flags protests while a senior republican was released on bail in connection with an ongoing murder investigation last Friday.

Mr Frazer was refused bail at Belfast Magistrate’s Court last week to be remanded to appear in four weeks time.

The 52-year-old is accused of encouraging offences by giving a speech to Union flag protestors, joining unnotified public processions and possessing an illegal Taser stun-gun.

But in the assembly chamber, the Deputy Speaker would not let the TUV MLA continue with the issue.

A number of people in the gallery, believed to be part of victims group FAIR, formerly headed by Willie Frazer, began to heckle from the gallery.

“They started to shout ‘this is a farce’ and once that happened the Deputy Speaker Roy Beggs called for the public gallery to be cleared,” UTV’s Tracey Magee explained.

“Once the people were removed from the gallery, then business got back to normal.”

“There is understandable and growing anger within the Unionist community at the double standards which people see when those accused of terrorist offences are granted bail while a victims campaigner is remanded in custody,” Mr Allister said.

“Yet Stormont has decreed that such matters cannot even be discussed in the Assembly.

“It is hard to believe that there could be a greater disconnect between ordinary Unionists and elected representatives.”

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