David Simpson election abuse claim: UUP wants evidence
The Ulster Unionist Party has asked for "evidence" after a DUP MP alleged his family was subjected to "disgraceful" abuse during the election campaign.
The DUP's David Simpson made the allegations during his victory speech on Friday morning, after he was re-elected as MP for Upper Bann.
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt has said he takes the allegations "most seriously" but asked the MP to "name names".
Mr Nesbitt has promised to take action but said "first I need the evidence".
The News Letter has reported that the alleged abuse took the form of racist comments on social media targeted at Mr Simpson's adopted adult children, who are originally from Paraguay and India.
During his victory speech, Mr Simpson challenged hecklers at the election count in Banbridge leisure centre.
Thanking his wife and three children, the DUP MP said there had been a "despicable attack on my family over the past seven weeks, absolutely disgraceful".
He added: "I haven't done this in 18 years in frontline politics and standing here, I call it pathetic, what was done on my family over the past seven weeks. You should be ashamed of yourselves."
Speaking about the issue on BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics at the weekend, the UUP leader told the programme he intended to contact Mr Simpson.
"You know I have a zero tolerance attitude towards something like that, but these are allegations and he will need to name names, at least privately to me, and he'll discover, I'll not be found wanting."
In an open letter to Mr Simpson on Sunday, Mr Nesbitt congratulated the DUP MP on his re-election but sought "clarification" on the allegations.
"If any member of the Ulster Unionist Party has indeed acted in the manner you appear to allege, I assure you I shall not be found wanting in my reaction, but first I need the evidence," Mr Nesbitt wrote.