BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | SF man in threat claims

SF man in threat claims

Sinn Fein candidate Paul Butler at the Lagan Valley count centre

A Sinn Fein candidate claims he was threatened by loyalists at a count centre in County Down.

Paul Butler, who stood as a candidate in Lagan Valley, said loyalists entered the count at Dromore leisure centre on Thursday night and threatened him.

"What I can only describe as a loyalist mob made their way into Dromore leisure centre," he said.

"They actually got in on the count and started threatening people, pointing at people like myself and other Sinn Fein members," Mr Butler said.

"We left the building, other police came on the scene.

"But then we were attacked in the car park, this loyalist mob was allowed to got around my car, shouting sectarian abuse, trying to stop the car getting out of the car park."

Mr Butler said the attack was an interference with the democratic process.

"If this happened somewhere else in the world, the British Government would be making a hue and cry about it," he said.

Mr Butler said he had raised the matter with the electoral office and would also be in contact with the Police Ombudsman about the incident.

"I felt under threat, nobody was doing anything about it," he said.

A PSNI spokeswoman said police had not received any report of intimidation and were not approached for assistance.

The Police Ombudsman's Office said it had not received a complaint about the incident.

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