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Michelle O'Neill: Arlene Foster's 'blonde' comment 'unbefitting'

DUP leader Arlene Foster (right) has been criticised after describing Sinn Féin's northern leader Michelle O'Neill (left) as "blonde"

MICHELLE O'Neill has said Arlene Foster's description of her as "blonde" was "totally unbefitting of a leader".

Mrs Foster made the comment about Sinn Féin's northern leader during a word-association game in an interview with the Sunday Independent.

The DUP leader said: "I don't want to be sexist and I am not going to be sexist because I can't..." but replied "blonde" after being pressed.

Sinn Féin claimed the comments were sexist and called on Mrs Foster to withdraw them.

However, the former first minister insisted they were "meant as a compliment".

Speaking directly about the row for the first time yesterday, Ms O'Neill said the comments were "totally unbefitting of a leader".

She told the BBC that Mrs Foster "knew rightly" her words were sexist.

The Mid Ulster MLA's daughter Saoirse also tweeted that Mrs Foster's comments were "disgraceful".

Ms O'Neill said her daughter was "a political activist in her own right" and did not check with her first before criticising Mrs Foster.

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