Ian Paisley has issued an apology to News Letter political editor Sam McBride for a personal attack on social media.
The North Antrim MP posted the apology on Facebook.
“Last Saturday, the News Letter published an article by its political editor, Sam McBride, about the DUP’s strategy in any potential negotiations with Sinn Fein about the restoration of the Assembly,” said Mr Paisley.
“I disagreed with Mr McBride’s analysis completely, and later that day, I published my views on the article.
“Unfortunately, I expressed myself badly, and I now accept that I should not have accused either Mr McBride or the News Letter of lying and failing to give an honest, professional, analysis of politics.
“In addition, I accept that I should not have accused them of having a long term agenda against the DUP, of being part of a campaign to attack the Christian ethos of the DUP, or of hating both the Christian testimony and those who defend the unborn. Finally, I accept that it was wrong of me to describe Mr McBride as a ‘despicable and low character’, and to say that those who know him should be thoroughly ashamed of him.
“Having reflected on my comments, I am now happy to apologise unreservedly to Mr McBride and the News Letter for making these incorrect, intemperate, and statements.”
Mr McBride said: “We all make mistakes - I’ve certainly made plenty. I accept Mr Paisley’s withdrawal of these allegations, thank him for doing so and consider the matter closed, I also want thank my colleagues at the News Letter, other journalists, readers, politicians from all parties and so many others for their messages of support, which have been humbling and for which I am grateful.”