PUP member who resigned over tweet thankful for support

Sophie Long, formerly of the PUP
Sophie Long, formerly of the PUP

Former PUP member Sophie Long has thanked people for their support after she came under fire for a controversial tweet about Martin McGuinness.

Ms Long handed in her resignation following a tweet she posted early on Tuesday morning which read: “Condolences to Martin McGuinness’ family, friends and comrades.”

At least two PUP members threatened to resign following the tweet, with the use of the term “comrades” proving contentious with some.

Along with the scathing comments Ms Long also received messages of support, including one from Linda Ervine, sister in law of former PUP leader David Ervine.

She tweeted: “Sorry to see you on the receiving end of this unfair criticism. Haven’t noticed it happening to others who have paid respects.”

Ms Long resigned on Thursday saying that she wished the PUP well in future campaigns. She added she holds several of its members in the highest of regard.

Ms Long said: “My politics remain progressive; I aspire to a society of equals, free from violence, which includes and respects women, refugees, workers, LGBT citizens, and both Britishness and Irishness. I hope that the PUP and others can also promote these values.”

On social media she thanked people for their kind messages and words of support. She commented: “Enough great people in NI that we can make this place work. #UppaWomen”

Ms Long, who is from east Belfast, ran for Upper Bann in the 2016 Assembly elections

She is studying for a Phd in politics at the Queen’s University where she also lectures part time.