The DUP’s Jim Wells has come in for criticism over a tweet claiming Sinn Féin were “not welcome” in Rathfriland.
Mr Wells posted the comments on social media site Twitter on Monday morning. His tweet now appears to have been deleted.
He said: “Many complaints about Sinn Fein canvassing in Rathfriland yesterday.
“They are not welcome in this Unionist town - particularly on a Sunday.”
Sinn Féin’s Westminster candidate Chris Hazzard said: “Sinn Fein has widely canvassed the South Down area over the course of this election.
“Our message of equality, rights and Irish unity was well received during our canvas yesterday in Rathfriland.”
“Sinn Fein will not be deterred by Jim Wells or anyone else from bringing that message to the electorate of South Down.”
A spokesperson for the DUP said that “All parties have a right to canvass for votes. We recognise however that many people value the special nature of Sunday and do not wish to have this intruded upon by political canvassers from any party.