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Wells should apologise for negative west Belfast stereotype - Maskey

28 October, 2014 - by Paul Maskey

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey has said the DUP's Jim Wells should apologise to the people of west Belfast for negatively stereotyping people from the area. 

Addressing the health committee, Jim Wells said; "if you go to a hard-bitten social club in west Belfast tonight you will see six-foot tall men with skinhead haircuts, tattoos and earrings standing outside in the rain smoking, and this is probably the only law they have obeyed in their life”.

Mr Maskey said; 

"These comments are absolutely shocking and must be withdrawn immediately. 

"Jim Wells has painted the people of west Belfast in a totally negative light with this outrageous stereotype. 

"He also characterised people in west Belfast as lawbreakers. 

"He needs to publicly apologise for these grossly offensive remarks.  

"These remarks highlight Jim Wells' prejudices, not only against people in west Belfast, but against working-class communities everywhere. 

"He also made disparaging remarks about what he described as lifestyle choices of working-class communities. 

"Instead of casting aspersions on entire communities, the health minister would be better suited tackling health inequalities." 

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