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Nick Clegg criticises DUP health minister's comments: "The mask has slipped"

2015-04-26
Nick Clegg has criticised Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells's comments linking gay parents and child abuse, amid renewed warnings of a potential Conservative and DUP coalition. The DUP minister sparked outrage last week when he said that a child brought up by homosexual parents is "more likely to be abused or neglected". Nick Clegg appears on The Andrew Marr Show Speaking to the BBC, Clegg said that the comments came as the DUP's "mask slipped". “Those comments have lifted the lid on some really unpleasant views. The mask has slipped," the Liberal Democrats leader said. The possibility of a ring-wing coalition involving the Conservatives, UKIP and the DUP has been under scrutiny in recent weeks as the general election approaches. Clegg added: "I've been warning for weeks that while, of course, we should be alarmed about the prospects of Ed Miliband dancing to the tune of Alex Salmond, we should be equally alarmed at the prospect of a hapless David Cameron, minority Conservative administration, dancing to the tune of Nigel Farage, the right wing of his own party and some of these truly, truly, backward looking views from the DUP." Wells has retracted his comments, and said that he regrets making "that remark about abuse". DUP leader Peter Robinson defended his minister, despite fresh calls for his resignation. The Health Minister has been called to appear before the health committee to explain the comments. More Stories: Interview: Attitude in-depth with David Cameron Bruce Jenner’s tell-all interview: ‘Yes, I’m a woman’