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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2007, 06:16 GMT 07:16 UK
UDA expels pair from organisation
Tommy Kirkham
Tommy Kirkham is one of the expelled loyalists
An Ulster Defence Association spokesman who asked for 8.5m from the government to help disband a notorious unit has been expelled from the organisation.

Tommy Kirkham, an ex-advisor to the UDA leadership, fell out of favour after backing its south east Antrim leader in a dispute with the "inner council".

That ruling body has issued a statement saying it had expelled its leader in that area and his political advisor.

Sources have confirmed they are Gary Fisher and Tommy Kirkham.

The men were not named by the UDA in Thursday's statement.

Tommy Kirkham caused public outrage last October when he said the south east Antrim unit, which was responsible for dozens of murders during the Troubles, wanted to become a community development body.

He asked for 8.5m to help the process and to end criminal activity in the area.

The expulsions come less than a week after it was announced that the government is giving more than 1m to a three-year project aimed at helping the UDA end all paramilitary and criminal activity.

The UDA said all six of its so-called brigades will take part in that project.

A senior police officer subsequently said that the UDA was still "significantly involved" in extortion rackets.

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