Northern Ireland

Man removed by police in Stormont assembly protest

The police have removed a man from Parliament buildings after he interrupted a sitting of the assembly.

The protest happened as MLAs were debating a motion calling for a moratorium on the practice of fracking.

DUP MLA Stephen Moutray had just begun to speak when there was a loud interruption from the public gallery. The sitting was briefly suspended while police were called.

The man was later removed from the building.

It is understood he was not held in custody.

It is believed he was a supporter of the Occupy Belfast movement which is planning a protest in the city later this month.

The man is said to have shouted "we're going to take you over on the 17th" as he was led away.

An assembly spokesperson said: "A member of the public was removed from the public gallery of the assembly chamber and from parliament buildings during an assembly debate today under standing order 66 which states, 'an authorised person may, during proceedings of the assembly, lawfully remove any member of the public who is acting in a disorderly manner.'

"Although no official records of such instances are kept, it is understood this has not happened before," they added.

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