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Editorial: Wilson outburst offensive and juvenile

DUP MP Sammy Wilson. File picture by Matt Bohill

AT a time when many families are preparing for Christmas without a loved one due to the devastation wreaked by coronavirus, the latest outburst by the DUP's Sammy Wilson was as offensive as it was juvenile.

The East Antrim MP's considered response to the executive announcement of a limited range of restrictions to counter the rapid spread of the Omicron variant was to change the words of the carol Hark the Herald Angels Sing to target health minister Robin Swann for impinging on freedoms.

Not only was the tweet insulting to all those seriously ill with Covid or mourning the loss of family or friends during the pandemic, it was a blatant undermining of vital public health messages endorsed by his own party just hours earlier.

First Minister Paul Givan somehow felt unable to condemn the tweet yesterday, saying his colleague could "speak for himself", and similar episodes in the past suggest Mr Wilson will face no sanction.

But with more than 3,000 new infections recorded for a second consecutive day, and 35 deaths linked to the virus in the latest weekly figures, it can only hoped that an ultimatum to the errant MP will feature among the new year resolutions of the DUP leadership.

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