DUP politician went online shopping during Covid meeting

DUP politician went online shopping during Covid meeting

A DUP Assembly member in Northern Ireland went shopping online while he was in a committee examining the official coronavirus response.

Alex Easton has apologised for disrespecting the health committee after he was filmed looking at shoes.

Officials from the Public Health Agency (PHA) were giving evidence at Stormont.

Mr Easton said his shoes were worn through and the shops were closed, but that was not an excuse.

He added: "I apologise unreservedly for disrespecting the committee.

"I should have found time outside of the committee to resolve the matter.

"It will not happen again."

The North Down Assembly member added: "I have also written to the Assembly speaker and the committee chairman expressing my apologies."

His party leader, Arlene Foster, said he was in the wrong.

She said: "Alex has accepted that he should not have been doing that.

"He should not have been shopping online at a time when we are in this health crisis.

"We need to ensure that we continue to work very hard to deal with the issues in front of us, to take in what is sometimes a lot of information coming at us.

"It was wrong and it should not have happened."

Mr Easton has a health service background and has spent many years scrutinising NHS issues at the Assembly.

He has raised issues like use of do not resuscitate notices on elderly patients in hospital previously.

He stood unsuccessfully to be an MP in December's general election.

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