Northern Ireland’s new Health Minister has inexplicably blocked PinkNews and several critics on Twitter, just hours into the role.

DUP politician Jim Wells was appointed to the post yesterday in a reshuffle to replace Edwin Poots, who was branded a “disgrace” after he refused to lift the country’s blanket ban on gay men donating blood.

However, Mr Wells – who has previously claimed that he finds Pride “repugnant” and refused to take part in gay rights debates –  has taken to blocking users who criticise him on the social networking website.

He has blocked the official Twitter account of PinkNews from following him –  and is yet to provide a reason for doing so.

A hashtag #BlockedByWells has sprung up among users targeted by the Minister, and skeptics groups, women’s rights activists and gay rights advocates are all among those who have been blocked.

Mr Wells told Belfast Pride previously: “I understand that you contacted my Kilkeel office regarding what is termed a ‘Belfast Pride’ debate.

“I find the behaviour of those who take part in this march repugnant. I do not wish to be associated in any way with this event.

“My position on this will not change in the future and I would politely suggest that any further requests of this nature will be a total waste of your time.”