The party whip has been withdrawn from Ulster Unionist peer Lord Ken Maginnis after he compared homosexuality to bestiality during on air during BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show.
The radio show was discussing gay marriage when Maginnis’s comments came."This is based on sexual practice. Now, does that mean that every deviant practice has to be accommodated? Will the next thing be that we legislate for some sort of bestiality?"
In a statement, a UUP spokesman said party leader, Mike Nesbitt had met Maginnis on Saturday and "informed Maginnis that he was withdrawing the party whip. While this situation pertains, any public comment made by Maginnis, in the media or elsewhere, should not be considered to represent the views of the Ulster Unionist party."
The spokesman added that Nesbitt "remains respectful of Lord Maginnis's enormous contribution to the party, to Northern Ireland, and to the making of peace, and is hopeful a resolution can be found to enable Lord Maginnis to again contribute to the party's development."