06 December 2005

Suspended unionist to sue media

BreakingNews.ie

**See DUP suspends member...

06/12/2005 - 17:30:53



A suspended member of the Rev Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party has launched libel proceedings against the BBC and two newspapers.

In a statement issued through his solicitors, Newry and Armagh Assembly member Paul Berry insisted he had no intention of resigning from the party despite newspaper claims at the weekend.

Mr Berry confirmed in a statement issued through the law firm Madden and Finucane that he had initiated libel proceedings against the Sunday World over a report which claimed he met a male masseur in a Belfast hotel.

He announced he would also sue the BBC and the Irish News.

The Assembly member said: “This article has caused considerable personal stress and anxiety to me and my family and I intend to challenge the newspaper in court.

“I will take whatever legal action necessary to clear my name.

“I have taken time to consider my position and have formulated a strategy that I am continuing to implement.”

Mr Berry was suspended by the DUP in August following the allegations.

Last month the Newry and Armagh MLA took injunction proceedings against the party, blocking disciplinary action.

Mr Berry said he reluctantly took this action against the DUP.

“I have no intention of resigning (from the party) and I intend to continue to represent my constituents to the best of my ability,” he vowed.

“Over the past few months I have received many messages of support and encouragement from friends and constituents and I would like to thank everyone concerned.”

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