McCord challenges Foster to debate over funding for UDA members

Raymond McCord has received legal aid for his court challenge against Brexit
Raymond McCord has received legal aid for his court challenge against Brexit

The man taking a court challenge to Brexit using legal aid has hit back at criticism from the DUP by challenging Arlene Foster to debate with him about public money going to UDA members.

Raymond McCord is taking a case which seeks to veto Brexit for all of the UK because Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU.

The case was heard at Belfast High Court last week, with judgment reserved by Mr Justice Maguire.

The DUP had been among those who criticised the use of public money to challenge Brexit in the courts, with the DUP chairman of Stormont’s justice committee, Paul Frew, saying that it was an inappropriate use of legal aid.

But, pointing to last week’s BBC Spotlight revelations about how money approved by the DUP at Stormont has gone to UDA members, Mr McCord accused the party of being hypocritical in its concern that taxpayers’ money is spent frugally.

The day after BBC Spotlight alleged that an office on the Shankill Road is the headquarters of the UDA in that area, several DUP MLAs were pictured in the office.

Mr McCord condemned the DUP for “standing with the UDA on the Shankill, standing with them in east Belfast – standing with terrorists” while criticising the decision to grant him legal aid.

He said: “It’s time Arlene Foster stated how she defines a loyalist for to me a loyalist isn’t a member of the UDA or UVF, because to me they are terrorists.

“It’s about time that people within the DUP – and the UUP, too – recognised the law and what these people are according to the law.

“I’m challenging Arlene Foster to sit and debate across the table about how victims from the unionist community have been treated and why she doesn’t have a problem handing millions over to terrorists.”

He added: “Arlene Foster should hang her head in shame for having her photo taken with terrorists.”

Speaking about the court case, Mr McCord said that he believed the judge had been “very fair” and was hopeful that his case would be successful.