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DUP's Gregory Campbell Proves Once More He Is James McClean's Most Dogged Critic

By Conor Neville Updated
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DUP MP for East Derry (though he wouldn't call himself that) Gregory Campbell is a long-time admirer of James McClean.

In 2013, for instance, he recommended that the Sunderland manager should sack McClean in response to the footballer tweeting about his love for the song 'Broad Black Brimmer' by the Wolfe Tones.

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Last week, Campbell's tone was less strident but he did suggest that McClean should quit English football if he was unable to stand and respect 'God Save The Queen'. To be fair, in this he had common cause with Ken Early and Damien Richardson.  

He needs to keep his head down and play football, but what he shouldn’t do while earning money from the UK is set himself up as a controversial pseudo-political figure, which is what he’s doing.

If he didn’t want to sing the national anthem I don’t think anybody would have complained, but he should have had the courtesy and respect to simply stand there.

After a council vote, Londonderry's name was officially changed back to 'Derry' and the unionist community reacted with fury. McClean wouldn't have missed such a controversy for the world and issued a jubilant tweet saying 'Training finished, gym finished, Derry's getting it's rightful name back, have a great day folks'.

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Instead of simply congratulating McClean on getting his training and gym work done for the day, Campbell zeroed in on the second half of the tweet.

Less than a week ago he was in trouble with his manager for disrespecting the English flag and British national anthem, and now he has waded into the controversy again. This time, it isn't something he was provoked into doing. This was something of his own making.

He may have been able to explain treating the national anthem with disdain by saying he had to walk out with his team and he was put in a position he couldn't avoid, but in this case there is no justification. He proactively sent a tweet and embroiled himself in politics again.

Much as it seems that McClean can't resist a political gesture, it also appears that Gregory Campbell can't resist offering disapproving commentary on McClean's political gestures.

And as Campbell observed recently, 'Remembrance Day' is just over three months away. Indeed. Get ready for more of it.

Read more: Londonderry Is Offically Being Changed Back To Derry And Guess Who's Tweeting About It

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