LCC chairman warns over ‘playing with fire’

The chairman of a group linked to the three major loyalist terror organisations has warned the government could well be “playing with fire” over the protocol.
David CampbellDavid Campbell
David Campbell

The Loyalist Communities Council brings together long-standing UDA, Red Hand Commando, and PUP/UVF figures.

The council is chaired by David Campbell, a former senior Ulster Unionist figure who has no personal connections to terror or criminality himself.

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He said the statement is from him personally, not on behalf of the whole group.

It reads: “I am concerned that there will now be further delays in replacing the Northern Ireland Protocol, and am also worried that Her Majesty’s Government may be tempted to soften their approach.

“Many of us have given time and space for these negotiations on the basis of Lord Frost’s briefings.

“Her Majesty’s Government, and the European Union, need to recognise that giving time and space is not a sign of our weakening our position.

“The breaches in the Belfast Agreement must be repaired.

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“This means no border infrastructure and unfettered Great Britain-Northern Ireland trade, and no EU judicial sovereignty over Northern Ireland.

“Any resiling from this will be playing with fire.”

Graffiti purporting to be from loyalist paramilitaries has appeared in many towns across Northern Ireland over the past 12 months, decrying the protocol and threatening violence if it is not done away with.

Most recently this message appeared in Newtownards: “Warnings were made/they haven’t been heeded/our message is clear/war is needed – PAF.”

PAF stands for Protestant Action Force, a cover name linked mainly to the UVF.