Belfast Telegraph

Mike Nesbitt calls for removal of election posters placed on loyalist bonfires

By Michael McHugh

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has called for respect for different identities after Sinn Fein and Alliance election posters were put on bonfires.

Images of South Belfast MLA Anna Lo and MEP Martina Anderson were placed on the bonfires in Bangor, Co Down.

Mr Nesbitt called for their immediate removal.

He said: "It is perfectly possible to celebrate one's cultural identity without having to resort to burning election posters or seeking to offend anyone else. I have previously called for actions to be lawful and peaceful, but it is equally important to stress that they must also be respectful."

Stewart Dickson, Alliance MLA, said the placing of posters of Ms Lo on bonfires in Carrickfergus and Bangor showed gross intolerance.

He added: "It is hypocritical for the organisers of these bonfires to call for respect for their culture when they are burning posters of politicians."

Mr Dickson was concerned that some bonfires include a large amount of tyres.

"This poses a serious health risk to those watching the bonfire and those in the surrounding area, including young people," he said.

"This is not about stopping bonfires taking place, but ensuring that they are built in a respectful and safe manner."

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