FERMANAGH and South Tyrone MLA, Phil Flanagan, has today (Wednesday) been ordered to pay almost £50,000 in damages to former UUP leader Tom Elliott over a defamatory message posted on Twitter nearly two years ago.

Mr Flanagan must hand over £48,750 after a High Court judge ruled that his tweet concerning the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP was a “most serious libel”.

After Mr Elliott, who served in the UDR for 10 years, appeared on a BBC radio programme in May 2014, the Sinn Fein man had tweeted: “Tom Elliot talks to @StephenNolan about the past. I wonder if he will reveal how many people he harassed or shot as a member of the UDR.”

The tweet was taken down from the Twitter account by Mr Flanagan within an hour of the time of it being posted.