The DUP and other unionists have been endorsing Donald Trump to win the US Presidential election in November.
Three DUP MPs stood outside the Westminster parliament in London this week with a flag supporting Trump’s re-election campaign. Sammy Wilson, Ian Paisley Jr and Paul Girvan posed outside the Houses of Parliament with a ‘Trump 2020’ banner.
Uploading the photo, Wilson tweeted “Keep America Great!”, a reprise of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan that he used during the 2016 election campaign.
Mr Paisley has previously praised Trump, describing the two of them as “good friends” and claiming that the US President has a framed picture of himself and his father on display in his office.
Left-wing British Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan said: “These four are an embarrassment by parading this flag on the grounds of our Parliament. Almost 200,000 Americans have sadly died while the racist, sexist and homophobic US President continues to spout hate.”
Sinn Féin did not comment on the incident, but nationalist SDLP MP Claire Hanna described the display as “attention-seeking”. She said that people could judge for themselves whether a “backward, racist and destructive president” was an appropriate political role model.
The photo was also criticised for its lack of social distancing, as the DUP continues to demand action over supposed breaches of coronavirus regulations at a republican funeral in June.
Ian Paisley claimed the regulations did not apply to the DUP MPs as they had already been seated together in a flight from Belfast, and because they were outdoors “in the fresh British air”.
The DUP show of support for Trump comes after independent unionist ex-councillor Jolene Bunting launched her “tour of Ulster” as part of an ‘Ulster-Scots for Trump’ campaign.
In order to combat Irish-American support for Trump’s opponent, Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden, Bunting and her partner are planning a “trailer campaign” in which they are to travel “the length and breadth of Ulster” to show support for President Trump “in good auld Ulster-Scots style”.
Last year, Bunting joined a pro-Trump demonstration alongside Jayda Fransen, former deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First. In 2018, she received a four-month interim suspension from the local government standards commissioner for her participation in a racist event with Fransen that he said “went beyond enhanced legal protection for political expression”.
It is understood the ‘Ulster-Scots for Trump’ tour will not include Donegal, Cavan or Monaghan, the three counties of Ulster which lie on the other side of the border.