Belfast Telegraph

Ex-DUP Spad Cairns questions party inaction over Jim Wells after Strictly same-sex partner row

DUP MLA Jim Wells
DUP MLA Jim Wells

A former DUP special advisor has again asked how long it will take for the party to act on Jim Wells after he hit national headlines over his views on same-sex relationships.

Tim Cairns, who was a special advisor to former MLA and Stormont minister Jonathan Bell, was speaking following a heated clash between Mr Wells and presenter Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on ITV's Good Morning Britain.

The former health minister reiterated his view that same-sex couples should not be allowed to perform on Strictly Come Dancing as it would be "too challenging" to watch.

His comments come after the BBC said it was "completely open" to having same-sex couples on the hit show in the future.

Mr Wells' appearance on the show has garnered a huge response on social media, with scores of users criticising his comments. His named has been trending for much of the day on Twitter.

The DUP said they had made it clear on GMB Mr Wells did not speak for the party and that he had already been disciplined.

Mr Wells, who does not speak for the DUP since he had the whip removed, said the show is "family viewing" and if same-sex couples featured, it should be televised after the 9pm watershed.

Tim Cairns
Tim Cairns

In response to his appearance of Good Morning Britain, Tim Cairns posted on Twitter: "He’s [Jim Wells] now made it to the @GMB studios. How much longer until action is taken?"

Jim Wells has in the past has criticised the PSNI's decision to take part in the Dublin Pride parade, as well as voicing his concerns over plans for a support group for LGBT teachers in Northern Ireland.

He has previously landed in hot water with the DUP for his outspoken comments in the media.

Following the election of gay DUP candidate Alison Bennington as a councillor in May, Mr Wells criticised her selection and stated the party's founder and former First Minister, Rev Ian Paisley, would have been "aghast" at the decision.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said he should not have made the comments and the party will be looking any "bad behaviour" of its representatives.

Speaking at the time, Tim Cairns said Mr Wells should be kicked out of the DUP.

When asked if Mr Wells will be the subject of any further disciplinary action for his latest comments, a DUP spokesperson said it was made clear during the show that he does not speak for the party since having the whip removed, and has been disciplined previously.

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