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SDLP Hanna's 'senior moment' tweet blasted by Paisley

By Angela Rainey

Published 22/06/2016

SDLP MLA Claire Hanna
SDLP MLA Claire Hanna

An SDLP MLA and Remain campaigner who blamed a "senior moment" for her struggle to name a single EU commissioner during an interview has been slammed by a leading Leave proponent.

DUP MP Ian Paisley said Claire Hanna's slip was proof of the "remote and unaccountable nature" of the EU.

During an interview on the BBC's Noland show yesterday, Ms Hanna (36) was asked if she could name an EU commissioner - a policy-maker for the EU. She said she could, before adding: "What is it about knowing names? I'm not going to start."

When pressed, the MLA said: "My mind has gone blank now. But does it matter?"

Later, she identified Ireland and Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan, and called the incident a "senior moment" in a tweet.

But Mr Paisley said: "In a single interview Claire Hanna unwittingly highlighted the remote and unaccountable nature of the European Union.

"How many people could tell you what the European Commission is, let alone identify a single member?

"Similarly, how many people in Northern Ireland know the difference between the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Council? Do they know how European directives are formulated before they are imposed?

"The difference between all those people and Claire Hanna is that they would not blame a so-called 'senior moment'.

"Our older people deserve better than to be referenced by a flailing politician searching for an answer."

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