DUP MP ex-aide held over toilet camera


A former senior DUP aide, prominent creationist and preacher with the Free Presbyterian church has been arrested on suspicion of voyeurism, it has emerged.

David McConaghie (47) was employed as a chief advisor to Upper Bann MP David Simpson but has recently resigned from that post. He was arrested last month as part of an investigation into a hidden recording device, believed to be a camera, which was found in the toilets of Mr Simpson’s constituency office in Portadown, Co Armagh.

Mr Simpson contacted police in September when a camera was found inside a toilet cubicle at his constituency office in Thomas Street, Portadown, Co Armagh.

Mr Simpson confirmed to a local newspaper today that he had reported the matter to the PSNI in September. Mr McConaghie was arrested on October 14th, and resigned shortly afterwards. The 49-year-old has been released on bail pending further inquiries, according to the PSNI.

A former Pentecostal preacher with the Elim church and member of the Independent Orange Order, Mr McConaghie has also trained as a preacher with the Free Prebysterian church. He has worked as a press officer for the latter, as well as acting as the media officer for the Caleb Foundation, an evangelical group which lobbies on a range of issues, including opposition to the recently opened Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast and gay marriage.

Mr McConaghie has also been a leading member of the creationist movement in the North, and has met with senior personnel from education bodies in an attempt to have a creationist viewpoint included in the Northern Ireland curriculum.

The Caleb Foundation was instrumental in persuading the National Trust to include a “younger Earth” explanation of the origins of the Giant’s Causeway at its flagship, new visitor centre.

Mr Simpson told the Belfast Telegraph that Mr McConaghie “no longer holds any office in the DUP”.

Mr McConaghie was not available for comment but his solicitor said he had not been charged with any crime.