A former deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party has deleted a tweet in which he called Taoiseach Leo Varadkar a "typical Indian".

John Taylor, who serves as a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Kilclooney, said it was a mistake.

He made the comment in response to a BBC News story about DUP criticism of Mr Varadkar regarding a visit to Northern Ireland.

Mr Taylor tweeted that people had tried to "misrepresent" his posting and that it was not racist.

"I regret the misunderstanding of my brief tweet.

"Had it been an Englishman I would equally have stated 'typical English' as they know little about politics in this island.

"Not racist as is confirmed".

He added: "They can accuse one as much as possible of being racist but I certainly am not as my work over the years for Muslims; Turks; Indians etc confirms".

John Taylor is no longer a member of the UUP.

Last November, he acknowledged a remark he made about Mr Varadkar had caused "upset and misunderstanding" and withdraw it.

On that occasion he had referred to the Taoiseach as "the Indian".

Mr Varadkar was born in Ireland to an Irish mother and an Indian father.

The Taoiseach has said he thought the twitter account was "a parody".