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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July, 2005, 06:34 GMT 07:34 UK
Berry suspension confirmed by DUP
Mr Berry insisted he was still an MLA and a councillor
Mr Berry insisted he was still an MLA and a councillor
Newry and Armagh DUP assembly member Paul Berry has been suspended from the party following newspaper allegations.

It is understood Mr Berry attended a disciplinary panel examining a newspaper story alleging he met a male masseur at a Belfast hotel.

The masseur claimed a sexual encounter had taken place, which Mr Berry denied.

He said he wanted the matter cleared up as quickly as possible. The suspension has been confirmed by a party spokesman.

Mr Berry threatened a potential libel action over the Sunday World story which was published on the eve of the Westminster election in May.

I am awaiting confirmation of a date for the committee to meet and when I am informed of the meeting I will be more than happy to attend, I am eager to have the matter resolved as quickly as possible
Paul Berry

When contacted by the BBC on Monday, Mr Berry insisted he was still an MLA and a councillor.

Mr Berry said that if he was meant to attend a disciplinary panel he had not been given any date for it.

When his assembly colleagues met Peter Hain without him, Mr Berry said he was at a funeral.

In relation to his potential libel action against the Sunday World, he said this was still an ongoing matter which was still with his solicitor.

In a statement released later on Monday, Mr Berry said: "Following press speculation about myself and my position within the party, I would like to make it clear that I have not received written confirmation from the party of an official suspension.

"I wish to make it clear that I am happy to accept a public suspension and take part in a disciplinary committee.

"I am awaiting confirmation of a date for the committee to meet and when I am informed of the meeting I will be more than happy to attend, I am eager to have the matter resolved as quickly as possible."


SEE ALSO:
DUP stay tight-lipped over Berry
03 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
MLA considers action over report
02 May 05 |  Northern Ireland


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