Northern Ireland

Ulster Unionist councillor apologises for `insensitive' Black Lives Matter comments

UUP councillor Derek Hussey
UUP councillor Derek Hussey

A N Ulster Unionist councillor has apologised for "insensitive" comments he made in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Derek Hussey, who sits on Derry City and Strabane council, made the remarks on Monday night during a special virtual meeting to discuss racism in the north-west.

Councillors heard representations from anti-racism groups and were informed that there were 66 racist incidents and 47 racist crimes recorded in the area in 2020.

Speaking during the discussion, Mr Hussey referred to the Black Lives Matter movement, describing its presentation as very "multicultural".

He also noted that the meeting was addressing issues "which go beyond Black Lives Matter".

The Castlederg councillor then went on to suggest that the group was not "fully inclusive".

"I have always wondered in the back of my mind is it not time the BLM campaign became fully inclusive and changed to being an all-lives matter campaign," said Mr Hussey, who has three convictions for drink-driving offences and was banned from driving for five years in 2016.

Mr Hussey made a return to council last November after serving a 15-month ban from local government for his latest drink driving conviction.

In a statement released by the Ulster Unionist Party, Mr Hussey said: "I apologise for my comments which were insensitive.

"I was grateful for the opportunity to hear from those who presented and to expand my own understanding of racism in Northern Ireland.

"The Ulster Unionist Party opposes all forms of racism and we want to see hate crime legislation strengthened in Northern Ireland as soon as possible."