A DUP MP has hit out after a Sinn Fein councillor declined to comment about displaying pictures of a 'F*** the DUP' banner on social media. Mid and East Antrim councillor Patrice Hardy retweeted the picture of the banner from a Pride parade in London, but failed to defend the posting yesterday.
The banner was thought to be the result of the focus on the DUP's opposition to same-sex marriage during the party's negotiations with the Conservatives to maintain Prime Minister Theresa May's position of power.
Ms Hardy, who was subjected to a social media onslaught last year when a fake account on Instagram - a popular photo sharing site - showed explicit images of women that the creator claimed to be the councillor, retweeted the banner picture on July 8.
Yesterday she made no comment when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph, but acknowledged receipt of the question of where the posting of the picture fitted into her party's current emphasis on respect.
The Belfast Telegraph also contacted Sinn Fein through its Press office, but again there was no comment.
DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson (left) criticised the councillor over the post.
"The fact that she and her party have remained silent about this speaks volumes," he said.
"It just confirms everything that all of us know about Sinn Fein. They talk about respect but don't even understand the meaning of the word.
"Respect for them means them tolerating everything that they want tolerated, even their commemoration of gunmen, but when it comes to genuine respect for other cultures, parties, and views they don't really have any conception of what it means
"And apart from the offensive language on the banner, it hardly says a great deal about how they want to treat their political opponents.
"Last week they were complaining about posters being burned on bonfires yet they post on social media banners about their opponents which use swear words."
At the time of her Instagram ordeal, Ms Hardy hit out at the "lowlife" who set up the account with "explicit photos which weren't of me".
"Social media can be cruel and people can be worse," she added.