The DUP has contacted the police over what it described as "outrageously offensive" false material being circulated about one of its candidates in Thursday's Stormont assembly election.

Diane Forsythe is hoping to take a seat for the party in the South Down constituency.

The party said she was the victim of a "libellous and malicious" campaign to damage her good name and bully her out of the election.

It did not provide details of the smear but said the allegations contained within were "false and outrageously offensive".

It called on all candidates in the constituency to issue a clear statement of condemnation.

The DUP's Director of Elections Gordon Lyons said as well as reporting the matter to police the party would take legal action against anyone found sharing the allegations online.

"None of our candidates will be intimidated or meekly stand by whilst their character is attacked by faceless trolls.

"This vile material is motivated by an inherent misogynistic prejudice and designed to undermine Diane's character," Mr Lyons said.