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Ian Paisley issues 'unreserved apology' after criticising journalist Sam McBride



Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley

PA Wire/PA Images

Ian Paisley

DUP MP Ian Paisley has issued an apology to News Letter journalist Sam McBride following an online post.

In his Saturday column, the journalist suggested that the DUP had prioritised opposition to an Irish Language Act over resisting change to Northern Ireland's abortion law.

In a Facebook post, Mr Paisley then accused the News Letter political editor of spreading "a lie from the deepest pit of hell", and alleged he was a "despicable and low character".

He said Mr McBride had gone to a Christian school "and those who know him must be thoroughly ashamed of him".

In an apology issued on Friday evening, Mr Pailsey said that he had "expressed himself badly" and that he now accepts that he should not have accused Mr McBride or the News Letter of lying and failing to give an honest analysis of politics.

Mr Paisley added: "I accept that I should not have accused them of having a long term agenda against the DUP, of being part of a campaign to attack the Christian ethos of the DUP, or of hating both the Christian testimony and those who defend the unborn.

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"Finally, I accept that it was wrong of me to describe Mr McBride as a 'despicable and low character', and to say that those who know him should be thoroughly ashamed of him.

"Having reflected on my comments, I am now happy to apologise unreservedly to Mr McBride and the News Letter for making these incorrect and intemperate statements."

Mr McBride, posting on Twitter on Friday evening, said: "I am pleased that Ian Paisley has tonight published this retraction. We all make mistakes- I've certainly made plenty. I thank Mr Paisley for accepting that there was never any truth in his claims and the matter is now closed."

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