Is Berry really out…?

THERE’S nothing quite like making a new entry when it involves Paul Berry (as the masseur said to the journalist), so when I spotted this on the BBC, I just couldn’t resist sticking my big oar in. According to the Beeb, after his pre-election controversial encounter in a hotel with a masseur, the Newry and Armagh DUP assembly member has been suspended from the DUP. While Mr Berry described the report of his suspension as “nonsense”, he doesn’t appear to have denied the accusation outright. So is he in or out?

Mark Devenport reported:

It is understood Mr Berry attended a disciplinary panel examining a Sunday World newspaper story on the eve of the Westminster election in May.

The story alleged he had met a male masseur at a Belfast hotel who claimed a sexual encounter had taken place.

Mr Berry denied that and threatened a potential libel action.

He has described the report of his suspension as “nonsense”.

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said: “I understand the party has been waiting for Mr Berry to commence legal action and that hasn’t happened.

“They’ve therefore convened an internal disciplinary panel to look at the facts.

“As part of that process Mr Berry, I’m told, has been suspended from the DUP.

“He wasn’t at a party assembly group meeting last month which was addressed by Secretary of State Peter Hain – and at that time I was told he wasn’t being invited to the assembly group’s meetings.”

A slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole on Twitter. But above all, remember, Play the ball and not the man.