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Nesbitt calls for respect after election posters put on bonfire

Election posters of Alliance member Anna Lo on the Bonfire in Carrickfergus  ahead of the 12th of July annual Orange celebrations

Election posters of Alliance member Anna Lo on the Bonfire in Carrickfergus ahead of the 12th of July annual Orange celebrations

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has called for respect for different identities after Sinn Fein and Alliance election posters were put on bonfires.

Images of South Belfast MLA Anna Lo and MEP Martina Anderson were placed on the piles of waste in Bangor, Co Down.

Mr Nesbitt called for their immediate removal.

He said: “It is perfectly possible to celebrate one’s cultural identity without having to resort to burning election posters or seeking to offend anyone else.

“I have previously called for actions to be lawful and peaceful, but it is equally important to stress that they must also be respectful.”

Last Tuesday the UUP tabled a motion at Stormont regarding parading, which called on all sides to show respect, restraint and tolerance for those of differing opinions.

The Strangford MLA added: “The bottom line is that you cannot ask to be shown respect if you yourself are not prepared to show respect to others.”

Stewart Dickson, Alliance MLA, said: “The people who are seeking to burn our posters are obviously threatened by our message of building a shared future free from the divisions of the past. Their actions will not stop us from working to bring an end to the politics of ‘them and us’.”

Dr Michael Barry, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, said: “I would ask organisers to remove such images immediately and refrain from burning any items which increase tension and which serve no helpful purpose.”

 

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