Updated: 05/02/18 : 07:35:24
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Sinn Féin confirms MLA removed car clamp

Sinn Féin has confirmed that the party's north Belfast representative Gerry Kelly removed a clamp from his car outside a gym in Belfast city centre on Friday morning.

Social media footage appears to show the MLA kneeling down to remove the orange device from the vehicle's right-hand wheel, before resting it against a nearby wall.

A pair of bolt cutters appear to be lying beside the wheel.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said that on Friday, Mr Kelly returned to his car "after an early morning gym session to find that his car had been made immobile by a clamp just after 7.20am".

"He removed the clamp from the front wheel. He left the device nearby and drove off to pre-arranged meetings.

"His solicitor is dealing with the matter and he will be making no further comment at this time," said the spokesperson.

Mr Kelly is Sinn Féin's policing spokesman and has formerly held the position of junior minister at Stormont.

Sinn Féin President-Elect Mary Lou McDonald has said Mr Kelly's solicitors are dealing with the issue and that she does not yet have all the details of the incident.

Speaking in Dublin, Ms McDonald said: "Gerry's solicitors are currently dealing with the issue of the clamping. I have to tell you I don't have the detail on it. We have to see what flows from that but I'm reluctant to comment any further because I don't have the facts of exactly what happened".

The private parking firm that controls the area outside the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC) near St Anne's Cathedral has reported the matter to police.

A spokesman for parking firm PEA told the Belfast Telegraph: "PEA is aware of this incident and has reported the matter to the PSNI as we do in all such cases."