Northern Ireland news

Sammy Wilson told to 'grow up' as his version of a Christmas carol is branded 'insulting'

Sammy Wilson tweeted his own version of Hark the Herald Angels Sing

SAMMY Wilson has been told to "grow up" after targeting the health minister with his own version of a Christmas carol.

DUP headquarters was last night silent on its MP's latest outburst, while Mr Wilson's opponents accused him of "attention seeking".

First Minister Paul Givan said his colleague could "speak for himself", while DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has been keeping a low profile since confirming he contracted Covid earlier this week.

The criticism of the East Antrim MP came after he tweeted his version of Hark The Herald Angels Sing, taking aim at fresh Covid-19 restrictions announced by the Stormont executive on Wednesday evening.

"Hark the herald angels ping, Robin Swann won't let us do a thing. No more parties, work at home. In the streets you cannot roam" he tweeted.

"Omni is far worse than the delta curse. Stay at home. Or they'll be far worse to come."

Ulster Unionist party leader Doug Beattie described Mr Wilson as a "juvenile, pathetic, moronic, self indulgent, narcissistic fool".

His party colleague Alan Chambers yesterday said the DUP MP's subversion of a popular Christmas carol celebrating the birth of Jesus was "insulting to the message the original words carry".

"It will quite rightly be viewed by many who hold their Christian faith dearly as both disappointing and disrespectful especially coming from a public representative," the UUP health spokesperson said.

"Sammy has form for this type of attention seeking action – it is both childish and idiotic and reflects more on him than on the people he would seek to ridicule by his attempts to be a crown jester."

Mr Chambers questioned whether the DUP leadership "has the moral compass and authority to stop this sort of commentary?"

"It only serves to add hurt to the sadness and grief experienced by the families who have lost a loved one to Covid or have a family member in an ICU bed fighting for their life," he said.

Health committee chair Colin McGrath said he found it incredible that "public health appears to be a matter of conscience within the DUP".

"Sammy Wilson has been allowed to make the most outrageous comments targeting people and policies that are working to keep our communities safe – is there no one in that party brave enough to stand up to him?" the SDLP MLA said.

“My advice to the public is simple - ignore him. Ignore everything he says and does. Get your vaccine, get your booster and please follow the public health advice to keep yourself and others safe."

 

Dr Alan Stout, the regional chair of the British Medical Association's GP committee, also condemned Mr Wilson's latest tweet.

"Thoroughly disrespectful to so many and nothing short of pathetic. Sadly not unexpected," he said.

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