THREATS against Housing Executive staff in the New Lodge area of North Belfast have been condemned.

The Housing Executive said the alleged victims included contractors and their staff who were working on tower blocks in the New Lodge.

A spokesperson for the Housing Executive said: “We have just been informed of specific threats made to Housing Executive staff and to a contractor working in the New Lodge area of North Belfast.

“We utterly condemn this threat.

“The Housing Executive takes these matters very seriously and the safety of people who work for us is paramount and we are now reviewing the provision of services to the blocks.

“We are calling for this threat to be withdrawn immediately and are currently seeking assurances from local community representatives.”

North Belfast SDLP MLA Nichola Mallon condemned those behind the threats and called for them to be lifted.

“The New Lodge is an area of severe housing need,” she said.

“The individuals behind these threats to Housing Executive staff and contractors carrying out essential work do nothing but harm the community they claim to care about. They don't represent this community. They should be ashamed of themselves.

"The work being carried out to improve the quality of life of local tenants cannot be disrupted by a small number trying to hold us back.

“The threats should be withdrawn immediately and the much-needed maintenance work resumed as soon as possible.”