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Michael Copeland insists ‘yellow’ tweet was not racist

UUP MLA Michael Copeland

UUP MLA Michael Copeland

A UUP Assembly member has come in for criticism after a tweet posted on his account seeming to refer to Alliance MLA Anna Lo and her remarks on a united Ireland.

A tweet appeared on Michael Copeland’s timeline early on Friday morning, appearing to refer to Hong Kong-born Ms Lo’s interview in Thursday’s Irish News in which she declared her support for a united Ireland.

The tweet read: “A while back we asked what happened when you vote yellow? Well maybe its more of a yellowish green?”

It then linked to a post on Facebook which has since been removed.

Mr Copeland denied the tweet had any racist meaning, saying the ‘yellow’ referred to Alliance party colours.

While it is not clear if Mr Copeland himself made the tweet, he told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster he took responsibility for it.

He said he would apologise to Ms Lo face-to-face on Monday if she took any offence at the comment, but added that he hopes the MLA knows him well enough to understand that it would not have been a racially motivated remark.

The tweet provoked much response, with one person saying it had belittled the work the Mr Copeland has done in east Belfast.

An Alliance party spokesman said they would not be making any comment, adding that the matter is one for the UUP to deal with.

 

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