31 January 2008
Politician agrees to pay damages in libel case
Northern Ireland assembly member Thomas Burns has agreed to pay out undisclosed damages as part of a libel settlement, it has been revealed.
According to BBC reports, the politician reached an out of court agreement with asbestos removal firm Eastwood.
The company had taken legal action against Mr Burns after he made comments about its application to establish an asbestos transfer station at a quarry in County Antrim.
A court statement said that he accepted he was wrong to claim that the firm was "in cahoots with the planners or in bed with the Planning Service".
An apology read out by a QC for Eastwood said: "He now fully acknowledges that this evidence was entirely incorrect."
Mr Burns has served as the Social Democratic and Labour Party assembly member for South Antrim since 2003 and has worked as a councillor at Antrim borough council for ten years.