DUP criticised for refusing to attend Belfast Pride event

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The Democratic Union Party has been criticised for snubbing a Belfast Pride event.

The event, held yesterday, was joined by politicians from all major parties – except the DUP.

Titled Pride on the Hill, it featured speakers from each party and was held at Stormont.

DUP assembly member Jim Wells reportedly told a Pride organiser that he would not take part in the “repugnant” event.

According to the Irish News, Mr Wells sent Pride organiser Simon Rea a text message which said: “Dear Mr Rea, I understand that you contacted my Kilkeel office regarding what is termed a ‘Belfast Pride’ debate.

“I find the behaviour of those who take part in this march repugnant. I do not wish to be associated in any way with this event.

“My position on this will not change in the future and I would politely suggest that any further requests of this nature will be a total waste of your time. Jim Wells.”

A DUP spokesman said: “Party headquarters only received a request for a participant in this debate on Thursday, 21st July. Given the busy schedule of our MLAs, such short notice did not enable us to supply a speaker on this occasion.”

The spokesman did not comment on Mr Well’s comments to Pride organisers.