North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has contrasted the approach by Scottish police towards the Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Margert Ferrier and the PSNI's handling of Sinn Fein bringing thousands of people onto the streets of Belfast. His comments follow the arrest of the Scottish MP who has been charged in connection with alleged culpable and reckless conduct.
The North Antrim MP said, "Margaret Ferrier's alleged breaches of Covid regulations took place between 26th and 29th September. In little over three months Police Scotland have carried out an investigation and charges have been pressed. Here in Northern Ireland the funeral of Bobby Storey took place on 30th June and it took nearly six months before a file was prepared for the PPS. Even now in the next calendar year after thousands of people were brought onto the streets of Belfast we still do not know if anyone will be charged for the clear breaches of Covid-19 regulations in that instance.
The clear implication is that justice in Northern Ireland moves more slowly, but only if certain groups of people are involved. We know that no time was wasted acting against the Black Lives Matter protest so the PSNI were even prepared to be branded as racist rather than act against clear breaches of the law by republicans.
The public health message was fundamentally damaged on the 30th June last year and the lack of any serious action against those involved has had serious repercussions ever since. People in Northern Ireland should not set their standards by those of Sinn Fein, but clearly police across the UK also have chosen not to set their standards by those of the PSNI and PPS. In the absence of a demonstration that the law will be upheld by the police here it is vital that people behave responsibly and act in the best interests of our community and our National Health Service."