Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells apologises after claiming children with gay parents 'more likely to be abused'

Mr Wells says he regrets the comment

Doug Bolton
Friday 24 April 2015 13:41

A police investigation is underway after the Northern Irish Health Minister said children brought up by same-sex parents are "far more likely" to be abused.

At a consitituency hustings, Jim Wells is reported to have said: "You don't bring up a child in a homosexual relationship. That child is far more likely to be abused and neglected."

The comment provoked jeering from the audience, but Mr Wells, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) candidate for South Down repeated the comment amid cries of "rubbish" from attendees.

The police said they had received a complaint about Mr Wells' comments, and officers were making enquiries.

Mr Wells told the BBC: "I regret having wrongly made that remark about abuse and I'm sorry those words were uttered.

"The comment did not reflect my view nor that of my party."

Mr Wells' colleague Pam Cameron, DUP MLA for South Antrim criticised the comments on Twitter and distanced herself from Mr Wells.

The DUP has previously come under fire for its policies on LGBT issues, with David Cameron saying on Wednesday that he "profoundly disagreed" with the party on issues such as gay marriage.

The Independent has tried to reach Mr Wells for comment.

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