Upper Bann MLA Beattie to allow UUP to decide on his future

Allowing those in Portadown to decide future of 'educationally vulnerable' Lurgan children 'hard to understand'

Doug Beattie MC MLA

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Upper Bann MLA and UUP leader, Doug Beattie, is to let the party decide on his leadership.

It comes after a number of historical tweets were found which have led to him being accused of misogyny and racism.

Mr Beattie denies these allegations, adding that he was “deeply ashamed” of the “pretty horrific” tweets.

"I will speak to my MLA group today and I will speak to my party officers, if either group feels I should step down then I will,” he told BBC Radio Ulster’s Stephen Nolan.

"Likewise if they think I should refer myself to the party executive or the wider council on a vote of no confidence then I shall do that as well."

Yesterday, Mr Beattie apologised for tweeting a joke about Agriculture Minister and former DUP Minister Edwin Poots and his wife at the weekend.

A number of historical tweets, from before Mr Beattie joined the UUP in 2014, allegedly feature derogatory language against women and feminists, derogatory comments about Muslims, the use of a strong racist slur and use of an offensive term for the Traveller community.

The former Army officer said a number of tweets were sent during a time when he was "still in a male-dominated environment”.

"What I did 10 years ago was absolutely fundamentally wrong then, it’s wrong now," he added.

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