There has been cross-party condemnation of the abuse of politicians about their appearance on social media in Northern Ireland.

It comes after a DUP MLA spoke out about the abuse she received after her party leader, Arlene Foster, posted a picture on Twitter of the pair at a party event in Co Fermanagh.

Carla Lockhart said while she had grown immune to the constant slurs she had decided to go public after a particularly intense spate of vitriol over the weekend.

Sinn Féin's leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill was among a series of political rivals to voice support for the Upper Bann representative, branding the abuse "totally unacceptable" and calling for action.

Both Ms Foster and Ms Lockhart were subjected to a torrent of abusive comments from fellow Twitter users, many focusing on their physical appearance.

Ms Lockhart said Twitter needed to take action, particularly to make it harder for "faceless trolls" to dish out abuse anonymously.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said it was aware of the matter and enquiries were ongoing.

"The comments were very personal and very hurtful," Ms Lockhart said

"Obviously I am used to political debate on Twitter and I am known as someone who would be fairly vocal on Twitter but the level of personal abuse directed at myself and Arlene was totally unacceptable."

In an interview with the BBC, she added: "Most of the time I roll with them and for anyone that knows me - I'm a tough cookie.

"But certainly from my family's perspective it is quite difficult for them to read and to see these tweets."

She said there was clear evidence of "misogyny".

"We all have features that we would maybe change, we all look at ourselves in the mirror every morning and maybe think if we looked slightly different it would be wonderful but it doesn't give anyone the right to comment on them or to pass comment on them," she said.

The MLA added: "A number of female politicians have suffered this on a regular basis

"I've grown immune to it because I do receive them on a regular basis but that doesn't make it right.

"It is bullying. It's harassment of women in political life and it's important that these people are called out on the type of activity they're engaging in.

"Platforms like Twitter have to do more to tackle the problem. There's no doubt of that."

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long also called on Twitter to put a stop to misogynistic abuse on the social media platform.

Independent MLA and former Stormont justice minister Claire Sugden added: "Online trolling is unacceptable;  Elected rep or not.  I've experienced it & it's vile. The nastiness says more about the troll than the person it's directed at. Have some self-awareness & self-respect and don't be a bully."