DUP apology attempt over Tony Taylor prison visit fails
A DUP attempt to force Derry mayor, Maolíosa McHugh, to apologise for wearing his chain of office on a visit to dissident republican prisoner Tony Taylor has failed.
At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council yesterday afternoon, unionists also called on Mr McHugh to resign after he wore the mayoral chain during a visit to Mr Taylor in prison.
A high-profile dissident republican, Mr Taylor has been in prison since March last year after then Secretary of State Theresa Villiers revoked his release licence.
He has not faced any new charges since his arrest and has not been given any reason for having his licence revoked.
At yesterday's meeting, former DUP mayor Hilary McClintock called on Mr McHugh to apologise for wearing his chain of office during the visit.
Mrs McClintock proposed: "That this council re-iterated the civic responsibility of the holder of the office of mayor to represent all; recognises that this has been severely compromised by the ongoing politicisation of the role by Mayor McHugh, wearing the chain of office on several occasions whilst promoting his own party politics to the detriment of good relations.
"Therefore this council calls on Mayor McHugh to apologise for his actions."
In his response, the mayor said that as support for Mr Taylor's release was adopted as official policy by Derry City and Strabane District council, he had done nothing wrong.
Mrs McClintock's proposal, together with a unionist amendment calling on Mr McHugh to resign, was defeated with Sinn Féin, SDLP and independent members opposing the move.