Belfast Telegraph

What's wrong with being British? DUP MLA weighs into Sinn Fein row with Gerry Carroll over 'slur'

By Jonny Bell

A Belfast DUP MLA has asked what's wrong with being British after People Before Profit's Gerry Carroll described the use of the term as a "slur".

A row erupted after Belfast councillor Ciaran Beattie, election agent for outgoing Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey, described the MLA as "Gerry the Brit" over his intention to take a seat in the House of Commons should he be elected.

His Facebook post, which was endorsed by a number of Sinn Fein members, was later removed. Councillor Beattie said he removed the post as he didn't think it appropriate.

Gerry Carroll described the use of the term as "pathetic slander" .

"Labelling your opponents 'Brits' because you are in competition with them is wrong, and should be stopped,” he added.

However, in response DUP South Belfast MLA Christopher Stalford asked what was wrong with calling someone a "Brit".

"Interesting. SF use term "Brit" as a slur and "non-tribal" PBPA accept it as such. What's wrong with being British?" He tweeted.

"The insult is tired and predictable the response is what I found interesting," he later added.

Talking about the matter on the BBC Stephen Nolan show, Mr Carroll said the term was being used in a disrespectful manner.

"It is disrespectful to us and the people we represent," he said. "He wasn't describing me as a British person."

Asked if he would consider himself British, he responded by saying he was "first and foremost an internationalist" and held an Irish passport.

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