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DUP's Gregory Campbell is branded 'a fool' over hunger strike tweet

By Noel McAdam

Published 09/05/2016

Twitter row: Gregory Campbell
Twitter row: Gregory Campbell

Sinn Fein has criticised the DUP's Gregory Campbell as a "fool" after he posted comments congratulating a senior republican for being "better at electioneering than hunger striking".

Just a week after Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams made international headlines for his use of the N-word on Twitter, the DUP man was similarly under fire for his use of social media.

The East Londonderry MP, who was the last politician to stand down from the Assembly to end double-jobbing, directed his remarks at former hunger striker Raymond McCartney after his election in Foyle.

In his first tweet, he wrote: "Excellent election results. SF long term plan just got an awful lot longer. I am breaking the habit of a lifetime to send best wishes to Raymond McCartney Shinner MLA in Foyle, why you may ask??

"Because he's a bit more successful at electioneering than he was at hunger striking".

Sinn Fein's Pat Sheehan, who was also a hunger striker, said Mr Campbell should "withdraw his remarks immediately" and branded the comments "vile and disgusting".

But Mr Campbells' colleague Christopher Stalford, newly-elected as an MLA in South Belfast and now out of the running to become the next Belfast Lord Mayor, said it was a joke.

"It's a lot of contrived anger. It was a throwaway joke remark by Gregory," Mr Stalford said.

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