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Tuesday, May 26, 1998 Published at 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK


'The Queen is a parrot' - Paisley

Accusing the Queen

The Reverend Ian Paisley has accused the Queen of foolishly becoming the "parrot" of the Labour government.


Ian Paisley: Queen is a parrot for Labour policy
He hit out in response to reports that the Queen is to visit Northern Ireland and Dublin - the first trip by a British monarch to the Republic's capital since the partition of Ireland in 1922.

Mr Paisley said that the Queen has no political voice and that it was therefore the voice of the government. "She has become a parrot," he said.

Policy to discredit monarchy

Speaking at a press conference to launch the Democratic Unionist Party's campaign for next month's Assembly elections, he also attacked the government:

"To use the monarchy in that way is of course part of the Labour Party policy to discredit the monarchy. She is very foolish to do what she is doing, I don't think the people of Northern Ireland will take kindly to it," he said.

The comments have been dismissed by Buckingham Palace and Downing Street.

A spokesman at Buckingham Palace, who stressed that reports about the Queen visiting Ulster and the Irish Republic were "speculative", said only: "They are Mr Paisley's views and it's for him to offer any follow-up to them."

Downing Street declined to comment on Mr Paisley's words and described the stories about the Queen making a visit as "hypothetical".

Ulster Unionist MP Ken Maginnis condemned Mr Paisley for his comments. "Ian Paisley is losing it more and more as every day passes," he said.



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