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DUP MLA Jim Wells threatens to resign from party

Former health minister Jim Wells says the DUP failed to support him following a row over comments he made about same sex relationships. Picture by Hugh Russell

AN email has revealed that former health minister Jim Wells has threatened to resign from the DUP after claiming it failed to give him enough support following a row over remarks at an election event.

The DUP MLA was strongly criticised after he appeared to link same-sex relationships with child abuse at a Westminster hustings event in Downpatrick in April.

Within days Mr Wells resigned as Stormont health minister, at a time when his wife was seriously ill in hospital.

The South Down MLA insisted that videos posted online did not show later remarks which clarified that any children from unstable families - "gay or straight" - were more likely to be abused or neglected.

Last week the Public Prosecution Service said Mr Wells would not be prosecuted after it had examined at a full transcript of his comments.

In an email seen by The Irish News, Mr Wells said last week he felt the party had not given him enough support following the row.

He said he had three options: resign immediately from the party; be re-appointed as health minister; or be given the opportunity to publicly turn down an offer to be re-instated as health minister.

Following confirmation that he will not be prosecuted, Mr Wells said last week he will take a two-week break from the assembly.

He said the last five months "have been the most difficult of my life" as "several family illnesses and the collapse of my political career have taken their toll".

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