Northern Ireland

Ronan Kerr's brother attacks Tom Elliott 'scum' remarks

The brother of murdered PSNI constable Ronan Kerr has described comments made by the UUP leader at an election count as "prehistoric".

Tom Elliott hit out at people waving Irish flags at Omagh Leisure Centre, calling them the "scum of Sinn Fein".

On his Twitter account, Cathair Kerr said that Mr Elliott's comments were "prejudiced".

He added: "People need to move forward. Would his voters still vote for him now?"

Mr Elliott later said that he would "not forget" what people in the republican movement had done.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said Mr Elliott "needed to reflect on his position".

"I think we have to respect each other's flags. I thought Tom Elliott demeaned himself, he belittled himself," he said.

The deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party in the Assembly, John McCallister, said he believed Tom Elliot was "tired" when he made the comments.

"I wasn't there I wasn't in that setting with the atmosphere that was there," he said.

"I haven't the background that Tom has, in that he's served in an area that has suffered horrendously during the Troubles. But it's not a phrase that I would have used."

'Dalai Lama'

The DUP's Gregory Campbell said Mr Elliott's remarks were at odds with his party actions.

"Both Tom and his party were quite content some 12 or 13 years ago to back the Sinn Fein proposition that prisoners should be released and all of the downsides of the Belfast Agreement," he said.

"It's a bit late 13 years later to describe the people as scum that he was happy to go along with in terms with the Belfast Agreement."

Former Ulster Unionist MLA David McClarty, who has been returned to the Assembly as an independent, said Tom Elliott's comments were archaic.

"Those comments yesterday certainly were not the progressive type of unionism that I would be promoting," he said.

"In fact the comments made Jim Allister sound like the Dalai Lama."

Leader of the Alliance Party, David Ford, also criticised Mr Elliott.

"I honestly wondered if it was the Elliott that was standing for the TUV not the UUP," he said.

"That kind of language is clearly outrageous. It's not for me to say what the UUP do, but if they want to stand for the TUV they should stand for the TUV."