Northern Ireland news

Katie Hopkins, retweeted by Ian Paisley, believes united Ireland is 'inevitable'

The controversial message by Katie Hopkins was retweeted by DUP MP Ian Paisley
Brendan Hughes

RIGHT-wing commentator Katie Hopkins, who was controversially retweeted by the DUP's Ian Paisley, has previously told how she believes a united Ireland is "inevitable".

Mr Paisley issued an apology on Monday after sharing on Twitter a message by Ms Hopkins that has been branded anti-Islam.

The tweet by Ms Hopkins read: "March 2018. London has a higher murder rate than New York... and Ramadan's not yet begun."

DUP North Antrim MP Mr Paisley said he only "glanced" at the tweet and did not take "cognisance" of the Ramadan reference.

Like Mr Paisley, Ms Hopkins is a staunch Brexiteer. However, she has also previously discussed how she believes a united Ireland will happen as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.

Speaking to NewsTalk in November, she discussed her views on a united Ireland in light of "increasingly nationalistic sensitivities" in parts of Europe.

The former Apprentice star said it is "inevitable or at least highly probable, that one day we will see a united Ireland".

"I just don't think you can be a Brexiteer and not see perhaps a united Ireland is where Ireland will eventually end up," she said.

She added: "I don't believe we can maintain some crazy kind of border midway through Ireland as we also look to leave the European Union.

"I don't know how that resolves itself other than there will be a time when a united Ireland does come about."

The DUP, British and Irish governments and the EU have all said they want to avoid a "hard border" with physical checkpoints on the island of Ireland.

However, the DUP has also insisted Northern Ireland must leave the EU on the same terms as Britain.

Meanwhile, members of the Belfast Islamic Centre have responded to the retweet controversy by inviting Mr Paisley to "come and visit us and meet some of the local Muslim community".

In a post on the group's Facebook page, they said: "We are aware of the retweeting of a controversial statement yesterday by a local MP.

"We have contacted Ian Paisley MP directly to clarify his position on the controversial tweet and ask him to confirm his commitment to equality for all citizens, regardless of faith and his abhorrence of bigotry.

"We welcome his Twitter apology and the DUP statement condemning it."

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