Northern Ireland news

`Sexism no place in UUP' says party after Mid Ulster councillor's Arlene Foster tweet

Robert Colvin was co-opted onto Mid-Ulster Council in January

AN Ulster Unionist councillor's apparent endorsement of a sexist tweet aimed at DUP leader Arlene Foster has been removed on the orders of party chiefs.

The offending tweet from Mid Ulster councillor Robert Colvin which he posted on the social media site over the weekend was removed at the request of the party.

An anonymous user had posted a suggestion that Mrs Foster stand down to allow a male politician to take over the leadership.

They wrote: "Arlene Foster needs to step aside soon and let @J_Donaldson_MP (Jeffrey Donaldson) lead Unionism. Of course it's sexist to say it but I just think a male figure gives more authority and confidence."

Mr Colvin replied: "How un-PC. But you could be right..."

Mrs Foster's 2015 election saw her become the only woman to lead either of the two main unionist parties in Northern Ireland.

A UUP spokeswoman insisted that the party takes a strong line on sexism and had acted immediately to remove the controversial post.

"Sexism will not be tolerated at any level within the Ulster Unionist Party, members of the party should be in no doubt of that.

"Mr Colvin's tweet was brought to our attention and we acted swiftly to have it removed."

Mr Colvin was co-opted onto the council in January to succeed Kenneth Reid who stood down "due to ill-health" and has been selected as candidate for the Torrent ward.

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