Alex Easton: DUP MLA filmed shopping online at Stormont

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'I apologise unreservedly'

A DUP assembly member has apologised "unreservedly" for shopping online during a meeting of Stormont's health committee about the Covid-19 crisis.

The stream of Thursday morning's committee showed Alex Easton looking at a pair of boots on his tablet.

At the time, Public Health Agency officials were giving evidence about their response to the pandemic.

Mr Easton said his shoes were worn through and the shops were closed, but added that this was "not an excuse".

"I apologise unreservedly for disrespecting the committee," the North Down assembly member told BBC News NI.

Image source, NI Assembly
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Alex Easton said his shoes were worn through and the shops were closed, but added that this was no excuse

"I should have found time outside of the committee to resolve the matter.

"It will not happen again.

Image source, Alex Easton
Image caption,
Mr Easton provided BBC News NI with an image of his shoes, which he said were worn down and needed to be replaced

"I have also written to the Assembly speaker and the committee chairman expressing my apologies."

DUP leader Arlene Foster said it was wrong of Mr Easton to have been shopping online during the committee hearing.

"Alex has acknowledged he should not have been doing that, of course he should not have been shopping online during the committee, when we are in this health crisis," she added.

"What we all need to do is ensure we work very hard to deal with all the issues in front of us."