Northern Ireland news

NIO spends just £318 advancing LGBT rights in Northern Ireland

Lyra McKee's partner Sara Canning at the march and rally calling for marriage equality Picture Mal McCann.

THE Northern Ireland Office has spent just £318 in recent years on advancing LGBT rights in Northern Ireland.

The money was spent on rainbow lanyards, according to a Freedom of Information response to Channel 4 News.

Friends of murdered writer Lyra McKee, an LGBT-rights advocate, expressed shock at the spending and said it made them feel "worthless".

It emerged ahead of Ms McKee's partner, Sara Canning, on Saturday leading a march in Belfast calling for same-sex marriage to be extended to Northern Ireland.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson told Channel 4 News she would raise concerns with British prime minister Theresa May.

The Northern Ireland Office told the programme the current party talks on restoring Stormont are an opportunity to consider how to address same-sex marriage.

"The government will keep its position on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland under review, as appropriate," it added.

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