DUP silent on new councillor's support for abortion reform and gay marriage

John Scott with DUP leader Arlene Foster
Brendan Hughes

THE DUP has remained silent over one of its new councillors declaring their support for abortion reform and same-sex marriage.

John Scott said Northern Ireland laws on abortion "should be relaxed", and on gay marriage he said: "I agree with it – if people are in love what's wrong with getting married?"

It's thought to be the first time a DUP representative has spoken out so publicly in support of same-sex marriage, which the party remains staunchly opposed to.

The DUP has also remained opposed to changing the north's abortion laws.

At the DUP annual conference on Saturday, it was announced that both Mr Scott and former Alliance councillor Vasundhara Kamble had joined the party.

Mr Scott, who sits on Antrim and Newtownabbey council, quit the UUP in September.

Last year, Mr Scott called for "more discussion around the issue of abortion", and said the "law should be relaxed".

In Northern Ireland, abortion is only permitted if the mother's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

Asked about this, Mr Scott told The Irish News: "My views have not changed on same-sex marriage or the support for relaxing the abortion laws."

On same-sex marriage, he added: "I agree with it – if people are in love what's wrong with getting married?"

Last year Mr Scott signed an online petition calling for DUP leader Arlene Foster to resign as First Minister over the RHI controversy.

But the councillor said he has changed his opinion and "would love to see unionist unity and Arlene as the leader".

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