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DUP leader Arlene Foster: Sammy Wilson is no racist

Arlene Foster has backed the DUP's East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, insisting he is "not a racist".

Mr Wilson was embroiled in controversy when footage shot by the BBC emerged of him appearing to agree with a member of the public's "get the ethnics out" comment.

In his brief conversation with the member of the public, Mr Wilson told the man: "They are doing a programme on the BBC about should we stay in the European Union or get out of it, so I am going around talking to people and then they are going to do an interview with me."

The man then said: "I'd say get out of it... between you and me get the ethnics out too."

Mr Wilson then replied: "You are absolutely right, you know."

The politician, who was taking part in a BBC programme about the forthcoming EU referendum, insisted he was agreeing with the man's comments on leaving the European Union.

The DUP MP also accused the BBC of giving the impression he had been "caught out" during a walkabout at a market in Carrickfergus three weeks ago.

He stressed that anyone who was aware of his personal life would know he was not a racist.

"I knew that I was being recorded, filmed and followed by the reporter," Mr Wilson said.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said she had spoken to Mr Wilson on Tuesday afternoon, the Irish News reported.

"I think Sammy had been very clear he was not agreeing with the member of the public," she said.

"What he was agreeing with was the fact that he believes that we should come out of Europe and that was his assertion.

"Sammy's made his position very clear. I know Sammy very well. He's not a racist.

"He's far from it and therefore I think that's an end to the matter."

Belfast Telegraph