Northern Ireland

Robin Newton: Police to investigate Assembly speaker

Robin Newton
Image caption The BBC understands a member of the public complained to the PSNI

Police are to investigate whether Northern Ireland's Assembly speaker broke the law by not declaring an interest in a UDA-linked community organisation.

The allegation was made in a BBC NI Spotlight programme on Tuesday night.

A member of the public complained to the PSNI following the programme.

DUP MLA Robin Newton has repeatedly rejected claims he misled the Northern Ireland Assembly about the true nature of his role in Charter NI.

The Spotlight investigation revealed that Mr Newton had an important role in helping run Charter NI and was speaker at the same time as he sat on a steering group that awarded almost £2m of public money to Charter NI.

The police are investigating if Mr Newton committed a criminal offence under Section 43 of the Northern Ireland Act by not declaring an interest in Charter NI.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Newton said: "I have never been appointed to any position with Charter NI."

A police spokesperson said: "Police can confirm that a complaint has been received following the Spotlight programme on Tuesday night."

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