Europe

Social media's vested interest in Leo Varadkar

Leo Varadkar arrives for an emergency cabinet meeting Image copyright PA
Image caption Leo Varadkar's arrival on Monday prompted jokes and media criticism

The arrival of Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at an emergency meeting in his tank top has sparked jokes on social media, although some have criticised the media attention it has brought.

Varadkar, a self-confessed fitness fan, was photographed in his running vest arriving at a cabinet meeting in Dublin to discuss the Irish government's position on Brexit negotiations and the Northern Ireland border question.

The picture was shared hundreds of times as some on social media could not resist the opportunity to tease the taoiseach's tank top.

Journalist Anthony Pyne quipped: "Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrives (from an early 90s rave) for an emergency cabinet meeting in Dublin."

However, broadcaster Shane Beatty was "disappointed" the outfit did not include "novelty socks."

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Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Varadkar was asked questions on Brexit and his red vest at a press conference

In a press conference following the meeting, a journalist asked Mr Varadkar about the clothes he had arrived in. The prime minister found the funny side of it, before saying, "I think we'll stick to the serious questions for today, if that's OK."

However, not all are interested in the taoiseach's outfit, and some criticised parts of the media for focusing on Mr Varadkar's sartorial tastes rather than scrutinising his Irish border policy.

Will Slattery, sports journalist for the Irish Independent, described questions about Varadkar's tank tops as "absolutely pathetic," while Neil Dooley from the University of Sussex noted Mr Varadkar's refusal to answer the question was "a good thing."

Written by Paul Harrison, BBC UGC and Social News

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