Northern Ireland

'Go to the chippy': DUP MP Sammy Wilson criticised over remark

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Media captionSammy Wilson responds to Ian Blackford's Brexit food shortages claim by saying: "Go to the chippy."

A Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP has responded to suggestions a no-deal Brexit could lead to food shortages by saying: "Go to the chippy."

Sammy Wilson made the comment in the House of Commons on Tuesday during a debate on the next steps to Brexit.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, who was sitting in front of the DUP MPs, said the party should be "ashamed".

But the DUP's Gavin Robinson told BBC News NI that the remark should "not be taken too seriously".

He was not present in the chamber when the comment was made during a speech by the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

Mr Blackford spoke about concerns from food retailers that shelves could be left empty if the UK left the EU without a deal when, off camera, Mr Wilson said: "Go to the chippy."

'It was said in humour'

Mrs Lucas later raised the issue in the Commons with Mr Blackford to ask whether or not he shared her anger at the comment.

Mr Blackford said: "I'm sorry to hear that that was a remark that was made.

"You know this is a really important debate and I think there is a responsibility that we take these matters seriously, each and every one of us."

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Media captionOne mother is stockpiling ahead of Brexit uncertainty

Later, Mr Robinson, the DUP MP for East Belfast, told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme that he would not "give any credence" to the comment.

"I wasn't there, I didn't hear it but all I'm saying is I wouldn't take it too seriously," he said.

"If it was said, it was said in humour and I'm sure it was received as such."

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