Paisley Jnr apologises to Chinese for 'racist' remark
IAN Paisley Junior has told a leading figure in the Chinese community that he "regrets" using a racist slur on live radio.
The prominent DUP figure used the word "chinky" during an interview on BBC Radio Ulster regarding Liam Neeson receiving the freedom of Ballymena.
The North Antrim MP, who was at the ceremony, was giving details to the show's host Alan Simpson about the actor's visit. Towards the end of the interview on Monday afternoon, Mr Simpson asked the politician what his plans were for that evening.
The DUP MP replied: "Well, I'm getting a chinky tonight, I don't know what you're doing."
There was no on-air apology.
Patrick Yu, executive director of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, said the term was deeply insulting to members of the Chinese community.
"I was surprised by this particularly as he is an MP and high profile," he said "This word is used in name-calling of the Chinese and is totally inappropriate. It is a very derogatory term."
A spokesman for Mr Paisley said last night: "Ian Paisley has spoken with Patrick Yu and expressed profusely his deepest regrets if any offence was caused.
"Ian did not in any way mean to be insulting, nor would he ever wish to offend any minority group throughout Northern Ireland."
In 2007, Mr Paisley was embroiled in controversy after telling a magazine he was "repulsed" by homosexuals.
Four years later he said his views had "matured".