DUP politician Ian Paisley Jr. has apologised for retweeting an 'Islamophobic' post by controversial commentator Katie Hopkins.
The North Antrim MP shared Hopkins tweet on Sunday, which read: "March 2018. London has a higher murder rate than New York... and Ramadan's not yet begun."
Mr Paisley has since removed the retweet from his Twitter account, and apologised to his followers.
Mea culpa earlier today I glanced at a tweet & rt about # of murders in London. Didn't take cognisance of Ramadan ref. Once brought to my attention immediately deleted. Apologise profusely for offence caused. https://t.co/MGneSXHuMF
— Ian Paisley MP (@ianpaisleymp) April 2, 2018
Taking to Twitter last night, he wrote: "Mea culpa earlier today I glanced at a tweet & rt about # of murders in London. Didn't take cognisance of Ramadan ref.
"Once brought to my attention immediately deleted. Apologise profusely for offence caused."
Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims around the world as a month of fasting.
It appears Hopkins' tweet was intended to liken the religious celebration to Islamic terrorism and London's murder rate.
March 2018. London has a higher murder rate than New York.....And Ramadan’s not yet begun. pic.twitter.com/VTKUg0etB5
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) April 1, 2018
A spokesperson for the DUP said they deplored the sentiments behind Ms Hopkins' post.
The loyalist party, which has 10 MPs currently sitting at Westminster, described the message as "inappropriate".
They said the matter will be discussed by party officials at their next meeting.
Meanwhile, Hopkins has posted another tweet commending Mr Paisley for his support.
She wrote: "Never apologise Ian. It only encourages them."
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) April 2, 2018
Appalling to see a DUP Member of Parliament @ianpaisleymp re-tweet such appalling #Islamophobia - it's not like he doesn't know who or what he was RT-ing. This party has a pact with the Conservative party - and what will happen? Nothing. pic.twitter.com/nVglseIneW
— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) April 2, 2018
This is utterly grim. Disgusting Islamaphobia. Ramadan is a time when children run up and down my street in the balmy evenings delivering food to all the houses. It is one of the nicest times of year. https://t.co/BfrraWPjBn
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) April 2, 2018