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Deputy leader of PUP hits out at Arlene Foster's 'reptilian name calling' on Irish language act

PUP deputy leader Dr John Kyle has criticised Arlene Foster's remarks about the Irish language act. Picture by Hugh Russell
John Monaghan

A PROMINENT loyalist has hit out at Arlene Foster's "reptilian name calling" regarding the prospect of an Irish language act.

Belfast councillor Dr John Kyle, the deputy leader of the PUP, said that the comments by the former First Minister dismissing an Irish language act and comparing Sinn Féin to crocodiles were unwelcome.

On Monday, Mrs Foster rejected calls for legislation, telling a DUP party election event in Lurgan: "If you feed a crocodile, it will keep coming back for more."

In an article on the website of veteran journalist Eamonn Mallie, Dr Kyle wrote: "Reptilian name calling does not facilitate cooperation or trust."

"Politicians are distracted by an election and some continue to be absorbed in orange and green verbal warfare."

Dr Kyle, who last month predicted that the DUP would "make this the most sectarian election ever", said that "no political party has the capacity to deliver on its own".

"The challenges demand that parties work together to support a 10-15 year action plan to achieve the success that we all want. That requires politicians to treat one another with respect and honesty.

"Partnership, equality and mutual respect are the basis of healthy political relationships and catalyse constructive action."

He added: "David Ervine (former PUP leader) helped win the peace by treating his opponents with respect while demanding the same for his own community (a demand full of resonance today)."

Dr Kyle, a GP, also said that the "current crisis in our health service is much worse than most people think."

He wrote: "In my forty years working as a doctor I have never seen the NHS in such trouble. This is not an exaggeration. General practice, the jewel in the crown of the NHS, is teetering on the brink of collapse."

Dr Kyle is to contest the East Belfast constituency, where he stood unsuccessfully last May.

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