Foster ‘blonde’ remark sparks sexism row

Michelle O’Neill remarks have angered Sinn Féin Michelle O’Neill remarks have angered Sinn Féin
By Conor McParland

A SEXISM row has erupted between the DUP and Sinn Féin after Arlene Foster described Michelle O’Neill as “an attractive blonde who’s never seen without her make-up”.

The DUP leader made the comments in an interview with the Sunday Independent.

Sinn Féin MLA Elisha McCallion has called on DUP leader Arlene Foster to withdraw what she said were sexist and disparaging remarks made about Sinn Fein’s Stormont leader.

“The sexist and disparaging remarks made by Arlene Foster in relation to Michelle O’Neill are nothing short of disgraceful,” she said.

“It is totally unacceptable in the 21st century for a political leader to characterise another political leader based on the colour of their hair.

“The irony of talking about sexism and misogyny appears to be totally lost on Arlene Foster when she makes such remarks about others.

“For Arlene Foster to talk in such a disparaging manner about someone she supposedly wants to share power with once again highlights the DUP’s lack of acceptance of the principles of equality, integrity and respect.

“It is also clear that she is still in denial about her own disastrous failures as architect of the RHI scheme, its potential to take almost £500m out of public services and the damage RHI and other financial scandals associated with the DUP did to public confidence in the political institutions.

“Arlene Foster and the DUP need to immediately withdraw these offensive remarks which do a disservice to women in politics and to equality and respect.”

In response the DUP said: “Nothing that was said was offensive or intended to be so and Sinn Fein have a cheek demanding an apology. Indeed, they would be better served examining some of their own recent words and deeds and the impact they have had on people in Northern Ireland.”

 

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