Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster: Michelle O'Neill blonde remark was meant as compliment

Response shows more about Sinn Fein than me, says DUP leader

DUP leader Arlene Foster has hit back over the backlash from her description of Michelle O'Neill as blonde, saying she meant it to be a compliment.

There was outrage after the Fermanagh MLA, in a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Independent, described the Sinn Fein leader's appearance when asked her thoughts on her political rival.

Her critics branded the comments as sexist while O'Neill said there could be no place for sexism in society.

<<<Read the full interview>>>

On Wednesday, Arlene Foster responded to the backlash.

"They were meant as a compliment," she told the BBC, "If they have been taken any other way, that is a matter for people who have taken them the other way."

Asked if she regretted the remarks, or if they could be seen as sexist, the DUP leader repeated that they were meant to be a compliment.

She said the response to them showed more "about Sinn Fein than it does about me".

Read more:

Arlene Foster's 'blonde' Michelle O'Neill interview: DUP leader talks sexism, misogyny, appearance and Twitter trolls 

Sinn Fein and DUP in spat after Arlene Foster dubs Michelle O'Neill 'blonde'

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill: No place for sexism in public life 

Foster caught up in sexism row with Sinn Fein over 'blonde' reference to rival O'Neill  

Sinn Fein slam Arlene Foster's 'disgraceful, sexist' description of Michelle O'Neill 

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