Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 13:33 UK

New criticism over MP's gay views

Iris Robinson
Iris Robinson said gay people should seek counselling

The DUP's Iris Robinson has faced fresh criticism over remarks she made about gay people.

On Friday, the Strangford MP, said homosexuality was an abomination and urged gay people to seek counselling.

Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson said, "for a politician of her standing to come out and say what she had said, I think it is most unsuitable".

Mrs Robinson went on the radio on Monday morning to insist that she had every right to express her views.

Ms Anderson went on to say that Mrs Robinson should reflect seriously on what she had said and should apologise.

"I think that such an outrageous comment from Mrs Robinson calls into question her suitability as chair of the Assembly health committee," she said.

Police complaint

A complaint has been made to the police about Mrs Robinson's comments.

John O'Doherty, a member of the South Belfast District Policing Partnership, said he has complained to police.

"People like Mrs Robinson need to learn that their comments have consequences," he said.

This is the second complaint in relation to the Strangford MP's remarks.

Mrs Robinson first made the comments on BBC Radio Ulster on Friday.

She said she would defend her right to express religious beliefs, while also condemning violence against the gay community.

Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP's Lagan Valley MP, said Mrs Robinson was entitled to express her views.

"This is a country where people have freedom of speech," he said.

"If someone has made a complaint then the matter will be investigated, I don't believe that Iris has broken any law so I don't believe the police investigation will lead to anything."

Mr Donaldson, who is an executive junior minister responsible for equality, said that they would seek to ensure that no-one was discriminated against.

'Gay counselling' call rejected
06 Jun 08 |  Northern Ireland

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