A social media post about Northern Ireland which used an Irish tricolour has been removed by 10 Downing Street.
An edited version of the Instagram post has now been uploaded without the flag.
The post was about an event in Downing Street on Monday featuring Northern Ireland businesses.
The Irish tricolour is the national flag of the Republic of Ireland and has no official status in Northern Ireland, although it is used by many Irish nationalists.
Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie said the post showed Westminster did not “understand us or know us”, and used the incident to reiterate his support for a return to power-sharing in Northern Ireland.
“We are better served with devolved government,” he said.
“There are people out there who want to hand all the devolved power we have back to Westminster and here is what Westminster is doing,” he told the Nolan Show.
“They don’t understand Northern Ireland.”
Northern Ireland has been without a devolved government at Stormont since February 2022 when the Democratic Unionist Party walked out in protest against post-Brexit trade barriers between the region and Great Britain.
However he added that the post was a simple mistake and added: “I don’t get all wound up about flags.”
On Tuesday morning, Northern Ireland Office Minister Steve Baker posted on X, formerly Twitter, saying “good morning from Northern Ireland” preceded by a union flag emoji.
The tweet featured a picture of his jacket with a lapel pin of the union flag and the Ulster banner.
The Ulster banner was the flag of the former Northern Ireland Parliament – which was abolished in 1973 – and also has no official status in Northern Ireland, although it is used by some sports teams.
A Labour source told BBC News NI that the incident was a “grave disservice to the people of Northern Ireland” and showed “people at the heart of our government understand so little about these kinds of issues”.
Downing Street has been contacted for comment.
Source : BBC