Northern Ireland

Dee Stitt: Charter NI head in foul-mouthed rant at government

Dee Stitt and Arlene Foster
Image caption Dee Stitt, pictured with Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster, said the British government did not care about Northern Ireland

The chief executive of an east Belfast organisation recently given nearly £2m of public money has launched a foul-mouthed attack on the government.

Dee Stitt of Charter NI, who is also a leading UDA member, claimed the government does not care about Northern Ireland.

The SDLP criticised the remarks made in an article in the Guardian newspaper.

The DUP said while it will work with people willing to move on, words and actions need to go hand in hand

Mr Stitt also described loyalist band the North Down Defenders as "our homeland security" and added that "we are here to defend north Down from anybody".

Image caption Charter NI, a community-based organisation in east Belfast, was awarded a £1.7m grant by the executive

SDLP MLA Nichola Mallon said she was "shocked by the tone" of Mr Stitt's comments which she found "disturbing".

She questioned whether the comments were "appropriate " from the chief executive of a body which receives public funding.

The executive has awarded a £1.7m grant to Charter NI which is a community-based organisation in East Belfast.

The money came from the executive's social investment fund.

Image caption Nichola Mallon said she was "shocked by the tone " of Mr Stitt's comments

Mr Stitt had previously released a statement to the BBC's Nolan Show where he challenged allegations that he was a UDA commander.

He told the BBC "to the best of my knowledge, none of these allegations have been supported by evidence being presented to the PSNI".