SINN FEIN MLA TO BE INVESTIGATED OVER ‘CRUDE’ ROYAL BABY TWEET

Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan now under investigation over  Royal couple lewd retweet

Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan now under investigation over Royal couple lewd retweet

THE Assembly’s standards watchdog is to investigate a Sinn Fein MLA over an offensive remark on Twitter about the birth of the royal baby.

The move has been welcomed by Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister, who made the complaint.

Last week, Mr Flanagan apologised after retweeting an offensive tweet of a sexually explicit nature to his followers on Twitter.

It concerned the royal birth and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The TUV leader said it was crude and offensive and claimed it was a breach of the code of conduct by which all MLAs are bound.

He formally complained to the Assembly Commissioner for Standards, Douglas Bain.

He has now received a reply from Mr Bain saying he is satisfied the complaint meets the criteria set out in assembly rules.

Mr Bain has therefore begun an investigation.

Fermanagh and South Tyrone politician Phil Flanagan both favoured and shared the Tweet with his 3,600-plus followers on Monday.

However, last week he issued a statement of apology to his local Impartial Reporter newspaper.

Mr Flanagan, a former Sinn Fein press officer who is also a father of two children, was criticised on the social networking site after he shared the tweet.

The tweet was posted ahead of the news that the Royal couple had given birth to their first child, who has been named George Alexander Louis.

“In a split second error of judgement, I misconstrued the meaning of this tweet and re-tweeted it to my followers in that context,” Mr Flanagan said in his statement

“I innocently believed that this joke was about an expectant father being spotted entering the hospital through the front door, leading to a two day media circus with no news to report.

“In hindsight, I can now understand the potential double meaning that some may read into this, but this was not my intention.

“I apologise for any offence that this may have caused anyone.”

 

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