Northern Ireland news

DUP investigating Ian Paisley Jnr re-tweet

A tweet from controversial media commentator Katie Hopkins

THE DUP has said it is investigating after a “totally inappropriate” anti-Muslim tweet by controversial commentator Katie Hopkins was re-tweeted by MP Ian Paisley.

Ms Hopkins tweeted: “March 2018. London has a higher murder rate than New York... And Ramadan’s not yet begun”.

Mr Paisley, the DUP MP for North Antrim, re-tweeted the message yesterday but deleted the re-tweet several hours later. He later apologised. Today the Belfast Islamic Centre has asked him to "clarify his position" and extended an invitation.

Former Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay suggested Mr Paisley should be suspended for his actions.

“DUP must immediately apologise for their endorsement of this message,” he tweeted. “In most parties this would lead to immediate suspension if not worse.”

A DUP spokesman said last night the party will investigate the tweet.

“Ian Paisley re-tweeted a comment originally posted on twitter by Katie Hopkins from his personal twitter account,” he said.

"He has subsequently removed it. The original tweet was totally inappropriate and the DUP deplores its sentiments. The Party Officers will consider this matter at their next meeting."

Mr Paisley apologised late last night.

He tweeted: “Mea culpa earlier today I glanced at a tweet & rt about # of murders in London. Didn't take cognisance of Ramadan ref. Once brought to my attention immediately deleted. Apologise profusely for offence caused.”

Ms Hopkins has previously been criticised for comments she made about migrants and Muslims.

In 2015 Hopkins wrote a column in The Sun which compared migrants to “cockroaches” and “feral humans”.

And in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing, she tweeted about the need for a “final solution” – a phrase the Nazis used to refer to the Holocaust.


Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news