Cllr Maire Hendron said: “While Peter Robinson has warned about the impact of Union Flag protests on jobs and businesses, his comments are hypocritical given what his party did before last year’s vote at Belfast Council.
“It was his party and the UUP that distributed the 40,000 leaflets that created the tension that led to the protests and riots which severely harmed many businesses last Christmas. It was also the DUP and UUP who encouraged people to protest at Belfast City Hall on the day of the vote last December, which turned violent and led to many police officers being injured. It was their campaign that stirred up Unionist fears for their own political gain.
“If Mr Robinson spoke out strongly in the run up to last year’s Belfast Council vote, then perhaps we would not have had such a difficult Christmas.”