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Coronavirus: Ian Paisley clarifies ‘jocular’ remarks about NI Executive


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Coronavirus: Ian Paisley clarifies ‘jocular’ remarks about NI Executive

Image copyright PA Media Image caption Mr Paisley later clarified he “supported measures to protect the health of the nation” Ian Paisley has said a comment about the NI Executive, emailed to more than 300 people, was made in a “jocular manner” and meant for a friend.The DUP MP was responding to a member of…

Ian PaisleyImage copyright
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Mr Paisley later clarified he “supported measures to protect the health of the nation”

Ian Paisley has said a comment about the NI Executive, emailed to more than 300 people, was made in a “jocular manner” and meant for a friend.

The DUP MP was responding to a member of the public who had emailed a number of MPs about contact tracing.

Mr Paisley replied: “Mate, I wouldn’t let any government, least of all the NI Executive, track and trace my movements”.

He later said he “supported measures to protect the health of the nation”.

It is understood most of the respondents were other MPs.

Mr Paisley sent the email, first reported by The Sunday Times, on Thursday night, but followed it up with a second email shortly afterwards.

‘Hope you saw the funny side’

It read: “Oops, was replying in a jocular manner to a friend and obviously sent you all an email by mistake.

“Of course I support measures to protect the health of the nation by our government and NI Executive.

“Hope you saw the funny side of that. Ian.”

The original email from a member of the public said the government should be focused on contact tracing, and called for responsibility to be “devolved to local health centres who can be trusted”.

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Mr Paisley, who represents North Antrim in the Commons, told BBC News NI he did not know the person who sent the original email and was trying to respond to another MP, but accidentally replied to everyone in the chain.

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