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Robinson: Kelly should apologise for election flyer

Gerry Kelly should publicly apologise for a "disgusting" and "sectarian" election leaflet, DUP leader Peter Robinson has said.

Mr Robinson last night echoed criticisms from his colleague, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, who branded the flyer "blatant sectarian head counting".

And the First Minister called on deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to condemn the leaflet.

As reported in Saturday's The Irish News, Sinn Féin flyers in the North Belfast constituency feature a bar chart showing Catholic and Protestant populations in the constituency alongside the slogan 'Make the Change'.

Mr Robinson dismissed Sinn Féin criticisms that unionist electoral pacts in four constituencies including East Belfast, and Fermanagh and South Tyrone, were sectarian.

He said asking voters from all religious backgrounds to support the Union "can never be described as sectarian".

"However, publishing a leaflet calling for people to vote on the basis of the number of Protestants versus Catholics in a constituency is blatantly sectarian," he said.

The First Minister criticised deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for failing to criticise the "filthy leaflet".

"Martin McGuinness must, immediately, condemn Kelly's actions, ensure the leaflet is withdrawn and Gerry Kelly should publicly apologise for his behaviour," he said.

Mr McGuinness insisted the leaflet was not sectarian.

"All of these parties including many within the media use the term PUL - the Protestant, Unionist and loyalist community - so I think people have a bit of a brass neck trying to portray anything that Gerry Kelly did as being sectarian. I don't accept that," he said.

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