Lo ‘heartened’ by messages of support

Posted By: May 31, 2014

Irish News. Saturday, May 31, 2014

ANNA Lo last night said First Minister Peter Robinson should resign if he does not publicly apologise for his remarks about Muslims.
The Alliance assembly member said that the “final straw” in her decision to leave Northern Ireland politics was her “huge anger” at Mr Robinson’s support of “outrageous” comments evangelical preacher James McConnell made about Muslims.
Mr Robinson privately apologised to the north’s Muslim leaders after he told The Irish News he did not trust Muslims who followed Sharia law but would “trust them to go to the shops” for him.
Ms Lo said last night Mr Robinson should “come out and make a public apology, which he has not done yet”. “I would call for his resignation if he does not respond to public anger and come out and apologise,” she told Channel 4 news.
It came after she said she had been “very heartened” by thousands of messages of support after announcing she would not seek reelection to Stormont.
Ms Lo said she had become “very disillusioned with tribal politics” and described this week how she was considering leaving Northern Ireland on the back of Mr Robinson’s support for Pastor James McConnell.
The announcement prompted an outpouring of support for the Hong Kong-born politician, who has been a victim of racial abuse.
A Facebook page entitled ‘Don’t go, Anna Lo’ had attracted more than 12,000 ‘likes’ last night.
In a statement, Ms Lo said: “I have received thousands of messages of support since I announced that I would be standing down at the next election. “I have been very heartened by their kind words. “I would like to express my deep felt thanks to all those who have taken the time to write, phone, visit my office or to post the #IStandWithAnna on social media. “It gives me great pride to see so many people stand up and declare that they want to see an end to hate. “This is the message that I want to see coming from Northern Ireland.”
Among the messages of support was a tribute from the British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
In a Twitter message, Mr Clegg said: “V (sic) sad to
hear that Anna Lo is quitting NI politics. “No politician or, in fact, anyone should be subjected to racist abuse #IStandWithAnna”.
Fianna Fail last night also “strongly condemned the continued racist abuse directed towards” Ms Lo. Sinn Fein’s Caitriona Ruane last night said she would raise the racial abuse of Ms Lo with the Policing Board next week.
Meanwhile, a high-profile UKIP councillor was criticised yesterday after accusing Ms Lo of “wheeling out racist card”.