An outpouring of support has been sent to UUP MLA Ross Hussey after he apologised “unreservedly” for sending naked photographs of himself to an undercover reporter.
Today in the Sunday Life, the senior UUP member is reported to have said: “I made a terrible error of judgment in sending photos and sincerely regret that my actions have brought me to public attention for all the wrong reasons.”
And in a tweet, posted early this morning, Mr Hussey thanked everyone who sent him support.
The Tweet has been liked more than 500 times.
Mr Hussey said: “Can I thank all of you for your messages of support I really appreciate it - I am really surprised at the sincere messages I have received”.
Messages of support for Mr Hussey have also flooded Facebook and Twitter, thanking him for his work.
A statement from the Ulster Unionist Party issued during the afternoon said: “Ross Hussey has not broken any law. He is a single man and entitled to a private life.
“The party leader and others have spoken to him and he has accepted fully he acted foolishly.
“He does not deny any of the facts that have been put in the public domain and he again has apologised for the embarrassment this has caused the party and his family.
“He will be making no further comments on the issue other than to thank all those who have sent him messages of support.”
Around the same time the UUP issued a statement from Mr Hussey.
“When Ciaran Barnes contacted me for a response I thought my world was crashing around me,” he said.
“I was for the first time in my life almost ‘struck dumb’. I was very upset.
“I accept fully that I have used websites and the internet to meet others and as I am a single man I did not think of the consequences.
“I made a terrible error of judgement in sending photos and sincerely regret that my actions have brought me to public attention for all the wrong reasons.”
He added: “I apologise unreservedly to my family, colleagues and friends for any embarrassment I have caused.”