Local election candidate, Jimmy Carr, claims the SDLP accused him of being a drug dealer.
Earlier this week The Derry Journal exclusively revealed that a Derry City Council (DCC) issued iPad containing “questionable” messages linked to Mr Carr had been handed over to the PSNI. It is alleged that the messages were about illegal drugs.
However, The Derry Journal can now reveal that the PSNI have received a second iPad and are considering examining both devices to determine if any crime has been committed.
A PSNI spokesperson said “The PSNI have taken possession of a further iPad. Consideration is being given to examining the two items to establish whether any criminal offence has occurred.”
With less than 24 hours before polling commences in local council elections in Derry, Mr. Carr contacted The Derry Journal this afternoon to clarify his relationship with the party and claimed that when called into a recent party meeting, he was accused of being a drug dealer.
“I was brought before a committee in a recent SDLP meeting over this whole matter about messages linked to me appearing on a council issued iPad. The SDLP accused me of being a drug dealer and they retracted it.
“I was in total shock when I heard this because I am an innocent man. The party [SDLP] held their own kangaroo court and they have convicted me with no evidence at all. But I refuse to let the SDLP judge me - I will let the people of Derry judge me tomorrow - I hope I top the poll.
“The messages originated from a phone which I sold a while ago. The phone is connected digitally to the iPad but I had nothing to do with these messages.”
He added: “I’ve been in contact with the PSNI and they are not interested in the iPad. Derry City Council (DCC) haven’t started their own investigation so I don’t see how the party can treat me like this.”
Earlier this week The Derry Journal exclusively revealed that a DCC issued iPad containing “questionable” messages linked to Mr Carr had been handed over to the PSNI.
Mr. Carr went on to allege that “certain elements within the SDLP” have been trying to remove him from the party for a long time and reaffirmed his desire to stand in tomorrow’s election.
“I didn’t take the decision to quit the SDLP, they made that decision for me. My father and my grandfather have a great history with the SDLP - the Carr family have done so much for the party over the years - I feel completely betrayed.
“I wish no ill will to any of the candidates standing outside the Ballyarnett ward and I wish the party all the best in Europe too but the fact remains, I wasn’t wealthy enough or middle class enough for certain elements within the party.
“I know exactly which SDLP councillor contacted DCC about these messages and this person has wanted to get rid of the Carrs from the party for a long time. This same councillor said to me that I was ‘only making up the numbers’ when the people elected me to serve in DCC in 2011,” said Mr. Carr.
An SDLP party source said: “At no stage did the SDLP make any finding against councillor Jimmy Carr. The decision taken by Election Directorate on this matter was taken without any prejudice to any investigation taking place. The party has recorded that councillor Carr has protested his innocence in relation to any messages under investigation.”
The Derry Journal also contacted DCC this afternoon but their position regarding the DCC issued iPad remains the same.
A DCC spokesperson said: “DCC was made aware of an issue in relation to a council owned iPad. No complaint had been received in relation to any elected member nor has council commenced any investigation into any elected member.”