Ian Paisley Jr apologises for sharing racially inappropriate tweet
The North Antrim MP retweeted a post written by right-wing columnist Katie Hopkins.
Ian Paisley Junior has apologised for retweeting a tweet by controversial commentator Katie Hopkins.
The loyalist politician shared a tweet with racist undertones penned by Hopkins, referring to the recently published news stating that, in March 2018, London had a higher murder rate than New York.
Ms Hopkins' tweet read: "March 2018. London has a higher murder rate than New York... and Ramadan's not yet begun."
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (Sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.
It's understood that Hopkins' reference to the religious celebration likens all Muslims to terrorists, a belief that a number of Muslim communities are anxious to shake due to their peaceful beliefs.
Mr Paisley has since deleted the comment from his Twitter account and apologised for sharing it online. He took to Twitter on Monday night to make the statement.
Posting on twitter, Mr Paisley said: "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."
Hopkins, upon hearing this, took to Twitter herself to commend Paisley's support of her original tweet.
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) April 2, 2018
Responding to the Belfast Telegraph's story, Ms Hopkins said on Twitter: "Bless your heart Ian Paisley- thanks for being a loyal secret follower. Big love to the DUP."
A DUP spokesperson said it deplored the sentiments behind Ms Hopkins' tweet and described it as inappropriate.
They said the matter will be considered by the party officers at their next meeting.
Paisley made headlines recently when it was announced that, while visiting the White House for St Patrick's Day celebrations, the DUP member had extended an invitation to President Trump to visit Northern Ireland.
No set plans are currently in place for a presidential visit, but the MP insisted that Mr Trump "indicated" he would be happy to come