Belfast Telegraph

Labour MP under fire for attending the Twelfth

By Staff Reporter

Labour Shadow Secretary of State Owen Smith has received abuse on social media for attending a Twelfth demonstration in Northern Ireland.

He was described as making a "bizarre statement" by tweeting his thanks to those who had welcomed him to Twelfth celebrations, with others asking if we was joking.

Mr Smith tweeted: "Thanks to all across Belfast who welcomed me to the 12th celebrations yesterday (Wednesday). Well done to all who helped events pass off so peacefully."

This was greeted with a barrage of abuse and accusations against the Orange Order, including a tweet asking: "Is this a joke? Since when did supporting racist organisations become Labour policy?! Explanation needed urgently."

There were also questions over whether he condemned a racist incident at a bonfire in Belfast.

Mr Smith responded: "I condemn it unreservedly - as I have on TV and radio.

"I also condemn placing effigies and images of nationalist politicians on bonfires."

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