Union Jack a 'flag of convenience' for parts of DUP leadership, says Lord Adonis
A leading anti-Brexit campaigner has said the Union Jack is a "flag of convenience" for some in the DUP's leadership.
On Wednesday, Lord Adonis hit out at the party on Twitter, accusing them of not subscribing to "British values of tolerance, social freedom and inclusive democracy".
As I get to know Northern Ireland better, increasingly clear to me that for some in the DUP leadership, the Union Jack is merely a flag of convenience. They don’t subscribe to British values of tolerance, social freedom & inclusive democracy— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) August 1, 2018
Responding to the tweet, former Ulster Unionist leader Lord Kilclooney came to the defence of the party he had "contested elections against" - saying the DUP upheld the British value of "loyalty to their nation".
Having contested elections against the DUP more than any other NI person I do know one British value which they uphold - loyalty to their nation. Noticeably one which you fail to mention!!— Lord John Kilclooney (@KilclooneyJohn) August 1, 2018
The post from Lord Adonis was retweeted nearly 900 times, with more than 2,700 favourites.
The Twitter account for Irish comedy duo The Rubber Bandits also responded, writing: "That flag means colonisation and brutality. What planet do you live on?"
That flag means colonisation and brutality. What planet do you live on?— Rubber Bandits (@Rubberbandits) August 1, 2018
It is the most recent salvo in a running exchange between the Labour peer and the Northern Ireland party, with Lord Adonis last month accusing the DUP of seeking the "hardest possible Brexit" in order to create a border on the island of Ireland.
Following his comments, Lord Adonis was accused on being part of a "metropolitan elite" by former DUP MLA Nelson McCausland.
- Twitter row as Pengelly defends DUP
- Nelson McCausland: Why arrogance of metropolitan elite like Baron Adonis makes me glad I voted to leave the EU
Lord Adonis has been a member of the House of Lords since 2005 and served in the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
He came to greater public prominence last December after quitting as the government's infrastructure adviser over Brexit, describing Britain's withdrawal from the EU as a "dangerous populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump", and said the European Union Withdrawal Bill was the "worst legislation of my lifetime".
Since then he has been an outspoken critic of the government's Brexit policy, and advocated for a second referendum.
The DUP has been contacted for comment.
Belfast Telegraph Digital