16/04/2018

DUP MLA Hits Out At Trolls Over Online Abuse

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has hit out at online trolls after being attacked on social media.

The Upper Bann politician said abusive comments were aimed at her and party leader Arlene Foster after uploading a photograph to Twitter of the pair at a DUP event in Fermanagh on Friday, 13 April.

It is understood a number of derogatory remarks were posted about Ms Lockhart's appearance, as well as criticism of Mrs Foster in relation to the RHI Inquiry.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Lockhart said: "This is bullying. It's harassment of women in political life.
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"I am more than open to people debating about political beliefs and policy but these were very personal. We all have features that we would maybe change."

Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd described the online abuse as 'wrong and inexcusable'.

"I disagree with many aspects of Carla's politics but there is no excuse for the online personal abuse she has suffered," he said.

"The online bullying of Carla and other public representatives particularly women by online trolls must end."

On Twitter, UUP Leader Robin Swann said: "Online trolling unacceptable at any level and is only encouraged by @Twitter permitting anonymous accounts. Abuse directed at elected representatives and people in the public eye just too easy for big brave key board warriors."

Image: Carla Lockhart and Arlene Foster (right) at the DUP Dinner on Friday.

(LM/MH)

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