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Joe Biden makes 'orange' joke while greeting Enda Kenny

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Media captionWelcoming Enda Kenny to his home, Joe Biden said "if you're wearing orange you're not welcome here"

The US Vice-President has joked with the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Enda Kenny that "if you're wearing orange, you're not welcome in here".

Joe Biden made the joke when he met Mr Kenny for a breakfast meeting at his home in Washington on Tuesday.

The vice-president later added that he was "only joking".

However, the Democratic Unionist Party described the remarks as "disgraceful and careless" and has called on Mr Biden to apologise.

'Slur'

DUP representative William McCrea, who is the MP for South Antrim, said he appreciated that Mr Biden said it was a joke, but added he did not view the comments as humorous.

"When Northern Ireland is making such an effort to make St Patrick's Day an inclusive celebration, Joe Biden's comments were disgraceful and careless," Mr McCrea said.

"Whether they were intended as a joke or not, the comments are a slur on those who would be known as 'orange' - i.e. Protestants.

"This term is much wider than anyone who is a member of the Orange Order. It has traditionally been used to define people from the Protestant faith.

The DUP MP said Mr Biden should "apologise for his remarks and take corrective action to prove in a practical way that people who are from a Protestant background are welcome in the White House".

"Undoubtedly if he had made such a remark about any other faith group there would be calls for his resignation," Mr McCrea added.

Mr Kenny is on a five-day visit to the United States.

His meeting with Mr Biden came ahead of a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama.

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