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DUP MLA deletes Twitter account after retweeting post describing Sadiq Khan as 'enemy within'

DUP MLA Maurice Bradley has deleted his Twitter account and apologised after retweeting an account calling the Mayor of London the "enemy within".

The backlash was the second controversy related to anti-Islamic social media posts to hit the DUP in less than a week over, after Ian Paisley came under fire for retweeting controversial commentator Katie Hopkins. 

East Londonderry MLA Bradley retweeted a message about Sadiq Khan, who is a Muslim, from an account which posts extremist far-right content.

In a statement he said: "“I removed earlier RT and apologise for it. I disagree with Sadiq Khan's approach to Hezbollah - brutal terrorist apologists. The Mayor has a democratic mandate & his religion is irrelevant.”

A spokesperson for the DUP said: "Maurice has rightly removed the retweet. It did not represent the DUP's views. This matter will be considered by the Party Officers."

The tweet featured a video in which Conservative member of the London Assembly Andrew Boff asked the Mayor if he would write to the Home Secretary to ask for clarification on "the rules for a banned organisation".

The video is accompanied with text which reads: "The enemy within: Muslim Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, refuses to support ban of Hezbollah terror group, says he must consider if it is the  “right thing to do”.

On Monday DUP MP Ian Paisley faced criticism for retweeting controversial right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins, who wrote on Twitter that London had a higher murder rate than New York, and that "Ramadan's not yet begun".

Speaking on BBC's Good Morning Ulster radio programme, SDLP MLA Claire Hanna said: "I think it is very creepy. There has been a bit of an overlap between loyalism and the far right for a while, but it is very worrying when it is propagated by senior elected representatives."

Mrs Hanna said the "dog whistle demonisation of Sadiq Khan" was something which had happened in the Conservative party in the past, but that they had "distanced themselves from it" and the Government party would not be "very impressed that the coalition partners are openly promoting it".

The Belfast South MLA noted that Mr Bradley had retweeted content supporting a far-right march in Poland a few months ago, and it was her view the comments about Sadiq Khan had not been retweeted accidentally.

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