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Former DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson to Appear in Court over Sex Offence Allegations

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, former leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), is set to appear in court in Newry for historical sex offence charges.
He was arrested in March and charged with rape and other offences, while a 57-year-old woman is accused of aiding and abetting.

Donaldson resigned as DUP leader and had his party membership suspended upon being charged.

He remains as MP for Lagan Valley constituency.

Donaldson denies the allegations and will contest them in court.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Northern Ireland's longest-serving MP and current leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), is expected to appear in person at Newry Magistrates' Court.

This will be his first court appearance in relation to an ongoing matter, but he will not be asked to formally enter a plea at this stage.

Sir Jeffrey was first elected to Parliament in 1997 as a representative of the Ulster Unionist Party but left in 2003 due to his opposition to the Good Friday Agreement and the leadership of David Trimble.

He was knighted in 2016 for political service and recently helped end the DUP's two-year boycott of the devolved institutions by steering the party back into government.
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