Ban on UDA 'should cover whole of UK'

THE GOVERNMENT was yesterday urged by the Labour Party to widen the ban on the Ulster Defence Association to cover the entire United Kingdom.

Labour also claimed that a UK proscription of front organisations who raise cash for terrorist action was essential if such activity was to be outlawed in the future.

John McFall, Labour's Scottish Home Affairs spokesman, said he will be urging the Scottish Secretary, Ian Lang, to re-examine the Government's decision to confine the ban to Ulster. Although Labour wants the ban extended to mainland Britain, there is particular concern that Scotland could see a relocation of some of the UDA's administration.

Scottish-based fund-raising for the UDA is an open secret. East Glasgow, the Falkirk area and districts of both Cumbernauld and Edinburgh are known to be a focus for loyalist Protestant groups who are thought to raise tens of thousands of pounds each year for the UDA. Ten per cent of the UDA's funds are thought to come from Scottish sources.

Glasgow, widely recognised as Britain's second city of sectarianism, has generally seen its Roman Catholic IRA sympathisers and Protestant loyalist supporters learn to live with their differences. Like New York, the west of Scotland, with its high Irish-origin population, is also a source of fund-raising for the IRA.

Scotland is also a suspected source of smuggled arms to both the UDA and the IRA.

In calling for the ban to be widened, Labour also acknowledged the importance of Scotland in funds sent to the UDA, mainly believed to be raised through the Loyalists Prisoners' Aid organisation, which purports to raise money for the wives and families of loyalist prisoners.

Brian Wilson, Labour MP for Cunninghame North, said it was 'essential' for the ban to apply throughout the United Kingdom.

Mr McFall said there was no political logic to the ban only applying in Ulster.

However, Professor Ross Harper, a leading Scottish lawyer, said the ban ought not to be extended unless there was evidence that the UDA was becoming more active outside Northern Ireland.

He warned that a blanket ban would potentially infringe civil liberties. 'One should look at bans with great care. It is difficult to ban unless there is a real reason for doing so.'

He said that although a legal ban only resulted in an organisation being driven underground and becoming less open to scrutiny, should the UDA's activities threaten the population, then action would have to be taken.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent