New Foyle MP criticised over hotel tweet

A newly elected Sinn Féin MP has been criticised for an 'embarrassing' tweet about the small size of her London hotel room.

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 5:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th June 2017, 2:38 pm
Elisha McCallion (Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye.)

Foyle MP Elisha McCallion, in a tweet that appears to have been deleted, posted pictures of the room, writing: “Don’t let anyone fool you that the life of a Sinn Féin MP is lavish!!! Never stayed in a smaller hotel in all my life, literally my bathroom at home is bigger lol xx”.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton described the tweet as “embarrassing” and questioned whether Sinn Féin MPs should claim expenses given that they abstain from taking their seats in the House of Commons.

He said: “The fact is, that whilst DUP MPs and Arlene Foster were negotiating for Northern Ireland and trying to get the best deal for the UK, Sinn Féin MPs were kicking around outside parliament tweeting about how small their accommodation was. It is embarrassing.”

He continued: “People are relying on our MPs to speak up about the issues that matter, not the small hotel room size in London.”

Mr Middleton added: “If they are not performing their duties then they should not be getting expenses.”

His suggestion echoes comments made in 2009 by Conservative MP Owen Patterson.

The former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said at that time it was “inconceivable” that his party’s MPs would “vote to continue paying millions of pounds of public money to elected members who do not take their seats”.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said: “Sinn Féin MPs travel to London every week for meetings with the British government, a range of political parties, trade unions, embassies, the Irish diaspora and many others promoting our platform of rights, equality and Irish unity.”