General Election campaigning suspended in North after London attack

Parties in the North have suspended political campaigning as a mark of respect for the victims of the London terrorist attack.

The Alliance Party paused campaigning for 24 hours, while the Ulster Unionists suspended theirs "until further notice".

Sinn Fein cancelled all election activity for Sunday apart from local canvassing.

Full campaigning is expected to resume on Monday, when the first big debate between the region's party leaders is due to be screened by Northern Ireland television broadcaster UTV.

The debate was postponed in May following the Manchester attack, as a mark of respect.

The DUP's Arlene Foster is the only party leader not due to take part in the televised debate. The party will be represented by deputy leader Nigel Dodds.

Also taking part in the one-hour debate are Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, SDLP's Colum Eastwood, UUP's Robin Swann and Alliance Party's Naomi Long.

Meanwhile, police are investigating abusive Tweets sent to Sinn Fein's North Belfast candidate John Finucane.

Mr Finucane, whose solicitor father Pat was shot dead by loyalists in the family's north Belfast home in 1989, met with senior police about the Tweets on Saturday, he said.

Mr Finucane said the social media posts threatened him and mocked his father's murder.

"These tweets were vile, offensive and warranted police attention.

"On Saturday I met with senior police at a station in Belfast. They agreed with me that the offending tweets encompassed various criminal acts and pledged to conduct a thorough investigation," said Mr Finucane.

He added: "I look forward to assisting police in their enquiries and I trust they will use all powers at their disposal.

"It is important to remember that social media use should never under any circumstances cross into criminality, and when it does so, the appropriate response must follow."


 

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