SDLP silent on Ian Paisley ‘gobsh**e’ tweet

Claire Hanna, SDLP MLA
Claire Hanna, SDLP MLA

The SDLP has declined to comment after one of its senior figures branded the DUP’s Ian Paisley a “gobsh**e” on social media.

Claire Hanna made the colourful remark on Twitter after a video emerged showing Mr Paisley declaring that his party had given the Prime Minister “precise instructions” on how to move forward with her Brexit plan.

The DUP are fiercely opposed to Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement and have insisted they will vote against it in the Commons next Tuesday unless the backstop arrangement is ditched.

In a 24-second clip, taken from an interview with BBC Newsnight, North Antrim MP Mr Paisley is asked if he would be offering sympathy to the Prime Minister following “a difficlut day”.

He repiled: “I will be asking her for milk and no sugar”.

When asked if his party was still opposed to the PM’s draft treaty, Mr Paisley answered: “What do you think? Northern Ireland people are very direct, very clear, and we have given the Prime Minister precise instructions of where we think we should be in the best interests of the nation.

“I think she would be very foolish to disregard those things.”

Sharing the video on social media on Thursday, SDLP Brexit spokesperson Ms Hanna tweeted: “Take back control and hand it to this gobsh**e”.

As of this afternoon, her post had been retweeted almost 250 times and liked by over 1,200 people.

The remarks prompted a mixed reaction, with some people attacking the elected representative for her use of langauge, while others supported her.

Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson wrote: “If such abusive language was used by a unionist rep it would be a serious ‘denial of rights’ or respect issue’.”

The News Letter could not reach Ms Hanna for comment.

We also asked the SDLP press office what they made of Ms Hanna’s comments, but received no reply.