UUP member quits amid Islam sermon row

UUP member quits amid Islam sermon row

A member of the Ulster Unionist Party who unsuccessfully stood for the local government election has quit the party following controversial comments he made on television.

Colin Houston defended the comments made by Pastor James McConnell on the BBC's Nolan show.The north Belfast pastor described Islam as "heathen" and "satanic" and said that he did not trust Muslims during a church service earlier this month.Mr Houston, who is himself a pastor in the Shankill area of Belfast, blamed the media for "manipulating everything" Mr McConnell had said."The Christians are starting to stand up. We're not having it any more. It's as simple as that," he said, which was applauded by the audience."Why don't you go to his church for six months and then come out and tell him he's a bigot? He's not a bigot. He's a man of God."He also accused MP George Galloway, a guest on the programme, of "scare-mongering", and told him to go "away back to Britain".Mr Houston had stood for election in the Oldpark ward of the new Belfast super council for the UUP.However, he was unsuccessful in obtaining a seat after polling 366 votes.On Thursday, the UUP said: "Colin Houston was suspended from the Ulster Unionist Party this morning pending an investigation into a number of issues."He has since informed the party of his resignation."


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