THE East Belfast Observer’s offline edition reports that Ulster Unionist deputy leader Sir Reg Empey and DUP councillor Harry Toan were involved in a “scuffle” on the Albertbridge Road recently.The Observer reported:
The elected representatives had been in a meeting in the local community where an argument began which spilled onto the street.
One shocked motorist said: “I was driving along the Albertbridge Road and was amazed to see councillors behaving in this disgraceful way. Normally they are quick to condemn those who use violence – it was an amazing display.”
A source close to Sir Reg Empey revealed: “Sir Reg attended a meeting of the group which was set up to help the local community and they are distraught at last Thursday’s events.
“It is my understanding that councillor Toan was angry at Sir Reg because he believed they had an agreement in place not to speak to the press regarding a particular matter, which he accused Sir Reg of breaking.
“Sir Reg addressed his concerns during the meeting but it seems that wasn’t good enough for Harry. On leaving the building Harry confirmed the argument and things got a bit nasty until others intervened.”
When contacted by the East Belfast Observer councillor Toan, who not be standing in this year’s council elections said: “My position is closed and that’s the end of the story.”
Sir Reg Empey was also adamant he would not be making any comment, but added: “I don’t wish to confirm or deny anything.”
However the Ulster Unionist confirmed that his next bout will be in May against East Belfast MP Peter Robinson in the Westminster elections.