TUV leader Jim Allister
IN THIS week's Chronicle we reported how pressure was building on senior North Antrim DUP and TUV politicians to retract or amend statements of tribute to the late David Tweed in the wake of the powerful testimony from his five daughters outlining the years of child abuse and physical abuse they were subjected too.
We reported how TUV leader Jim Allister was standing firm by his original statement, saying that Tweeds acquittal on child sex charges in 2016, “matters in law”.
Tweed had been a TUV councillor in Ballymoney prior to his conviction.
Facing building pressure Mr Allister has today issued a new statement acknowledging the “hurt” Tweed's daughters were feeling, adding the he was “sorry for some of his comments.”
Mr Allister said: “I am the least important person in the controversy that has followed the sudden death of David Tweed. It is the family members who matter, all of them, whatever side of the issues they are on.
“My intention by offering my condolences in the immediate aftermath of Mr Tweed's passing was to extend my sympathies to those family members who are grieving. In light of misconstruction of my motives and intentions I unequivocally repeat that I and my party never have and never will condone paedophilia in any shape or form, irrespective of where it arises.
“Mr Tweed’s daughters are clearly hurting. I accept and am sorry that some of my comments, whether as reported or because they could have been better chosen, have added in any way to such hurt.
“I have always and continue to urge anyone with allegations of criminality to go to the police in a timely manner, even when it is very difficult because of familial relationship.”