Northern Ireland news

UUP MLA says liking of 'FTP' tweet was 'an accident'

UUP MLA John Stewart
Brendan Hughes

AN Ulster Unionist MLA has said his liking of a tweet which used the term 'FTP' and an image that included a UVF flag was accidental.

John Stewart 'liked' a loyalist Twitter account's post which included 'FTP', an acronym that can be used to mean "f*** the Pope" or "f*** the Provos".

The tweet, posted around the Twelfth, also included several union flag emojis and a photo of a group of men with a UVF flag visible in the background.

Mr Stewart, an assembly member for East Antrim, yesterday said he could not recall the tweet and would not recognise the term 'FTP'.

"I genuinely don't even remember the photo. I wouldn't even know what that meant," he said.

"I can only put it down to not even noticing I was doing it. I have no recollection.

"I think it's just more likely an accident."

It's not the first time MLAs have been left red-faced over appearing to 'like' social media posts.

Last week the SDLP's Nichola Mallon was asked about liking a tweet which criticised MPs for voting in favour of introducing same-sex marriage and liberalising abortion law in Northern Ireland in Stormont's absence.

Responding online, the North Belfast MLA said she was "oblivious" to having liked the tweet, saying it was accidental due to a "hyper-sensitive" phone screen.

"Laws of accidental consequences when you get a smashed iPhone screen replaced by a new hyper-sensitive one #LoveEqualityNI," she said.

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