A member of the House of Lords has come under fire for branding Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar a “typical Indian”.
Lord Kilclooney, a former senior Ulster Unionist, tweeted the comment in response to a news story in which the Taoiseach was accused of “poor manners” for visiting Northern Ireland without following “normal protocols”.
Mr Varadkar said he wanted to be a “good neighbour” and had informed the Northern Ireland Office about his trip across the border.
Lord Kilclooney has not deleted the tweet and later denied it was racist.
“I am certainly no racist and in particular have an admiration for Indians,” he wrote on Twitter.
“A member of the British/Indian APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group), only yesterday I had a reply from 10 Downing Street asking for a relaxation of visas for Indians.
“My point was that the PM had upset Unionists more than Irish PMs had!”
UUP leader Robin Swann responded by saying the crossbench life peer “doesn’t speak for me”.
DUP MLA Christopher Stalford also called it “absolutely ridiculous behaviour”.
Mr Varadkar was born in Dublin. His father is from India and his mother from Ireland.
Lord Kilcooney, 79, also stoked anger last year by referring to Mr Varadkar as “the Indian”.
The House of Lords standards commissioner dismissed a complaint against him as it did not fall within the scope of its code of conduct.