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Kyle Paisley hits out at Poots Sinn Féin stench remark

DUP assembly member Edwin Poots said the party "hold our noses and do business" with Sinn Féin

A SON of the late former DUP leader Ian Paisley has hit out at Edwin Poots after the MLA said his party would have to "hold our noses" to continue in government with Sinn Féin.

Mr Poots, a former health minister ,was challenged to clarify what he described as the "stench that still rises" from the republican party's links to the IRA.

Kyle Paisley, a Free Presbyterian minister in England, criticised the remarks, saying they were detrimental to unionism.

"For Unionists to go into government with Sinn Féin and then talk about their partners in government in that sort of language, it makes unionism look bad," he told the BBC.

He added: "It is pretty raw language".

"And if you are sharing power with people you can't talk about them like that publicly.

"You might feel like that privately about them but it's not going to recommend yourself to the electorate when you speak like about the people you are governing Northern Ireland along with."

Earlier, Mr Paisley's mother Baroness Paisley said her late husband and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness "would have worked more closely together on it and sorted things out".

"I don't think he would have let it get to the state it was allowed to run to," she told the News Letter.

On Wednesday night during a TV debate Mr Poots told Sinn Féin assembly member Alex Maskey: "We have peace in Northern Ireland, so we'll hold our noses and do business with you".

"...I do not like doing business with Sinn Féin. I hold my nose about what has went on in the past, about the activities of the IRA over 25 years, of the murders that took place and there's a stench that still rises from that in many homes across Northern Ireland."

Mr Maskey replied that the comments had shown Mr Poots in his "true colours".

Sinn Féin has made not further comment.

But yesterday, Mr Poots said he stood by his remarks.

"Many people across Northern Ireland find it appalling that Sinn Féin are in government," he told Good Morning Ulster.

"They have an association with the IRA, who committed over 2,000 murders in Northern Ireland, and that's something that's very hard for all of us to accept, but we do it because we want to ensure there aren't thousands more people lose their lives as the result of Troubles in Northern Ireland in the years to come," he said.

He added: "I work with those people because they have got a mandate, but that doesn't mean I have to like it."

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