UK & World News

  • 12 December 2012, 22:35

NI First Minister Threatened: Man Charged

A man has been charged with making threats against Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson.

The 34-year-old is expected to appear at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with making threats to kill and improper use of a public electronic communications network.

The charges are in connection with alleged threats made against Stormont's First Minister on Wednesday.

It is understood the alleged threat was made by phone.

Mr Robinson, the Democratic Unionist leader, is the latest political representative to be subject to a threat amid the ongoing unrest over the removal of the Union flag from Belfast City Hall.

Loyalists have been protesting over the decision by Belfast City Council to reduce the number of days the flag flies.

East Belfast Alliance Party MP Naomi Long has received a death threat, while senior Democratic Unionists Jeffrey Donaldson and Edwin Poots have also been informed of threats.

It was not immediately clear if the threat against Mr Robinson was connected to the other incidents.

There was widespread traffic disruption in Belfast on Wednesday evening as the loyalist protests continued.

Demonstrators blocked a number of routes to voice their anger. One man - a 24-year-old - was arrested for disorderly behaviour.

Since the flag controversy first flared, there have been 40 arrests and 29 police officers have been injured.