Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Unionist councillor has party whip withdrawn over 'tactless and tasteless' social media post mocking disabled people

UUP Councillor Victor Warrington
UUP Councillor Victor Warrington
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

An Ulster Unionist councillor has had the party whip withdrawn over a seven-year-old social media post which made derogatory remarks about disabled people.

Victor Warrington, who suffers multiple sclerosis, made inappropriate comments about disabled people on Facebook in September 2012.

He also heads a disability action group.

Mr Warrington, who represents Erne East on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, apologised for the remarks he made.

"It's been brought to my attention that seven years ago, before I was elected, I put a tactless and tasteless comment on Facebook which I would like to unreservedly apologise," he said.

"As Chairman of the Fermanagh and Omagh disability advisory group and someone who suffers from a disability myself, I know it's no laughing matter.

"It was a stupid thing to say then and it's still stupid - sincere apologies from me for the offence caused."

Scores of people took to social media calling for his party to take action.

UUP MLA Doug Beattie posted on social media that Mr Warrington's comments were "hugely disappointing".

An Ulster Unionist Party spokesperson said: "Comments which are sectarian or racist in nature or demean people with disabilities are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the Ulster Unionist Party.

"Ulster Unionist leader Steve Aiken has withdrawn the party whip from Councillor Victor Warrington with immediate effect following the circulation of comments Councillor Warrington made on social media in 2012.

"These will now be subject to an investigation. We will be making no further comment until that process is completed."

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