Belfast Telegraph

SF MP McCallion's complaints about size of London hotel room 'embarrassing', says DUP

By Allan Preston

The new Sinn Fein MP for Foyle has dismissed criticism by political rivals after she took to social media to complain about the size of her London accommodation.

Posting photos of her London hotel room, Elisha McCallion commented: "Don't let anyone fool you that a life of a Sinn Fein MP is lavish!! Never stayed in a smaller hotel room in all my life, literally my bathroom at home is bigger lol xx."

Ms McCallion had been staying at the Craven Hotel in the Westminster Borough. Rooms are typically priced between £80 and £100 a night.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton labelled the post as "embarrassing".

Speaking to the News Letter, 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 Fein MPs were kicking around outside Parliament tweeting about how small their accommodation was. It is embarrassing.

"People are relying on our MPs to speak up about the issues that matter, not the small hotel room size in London. If they are not performing their duties then they should not be getting expenses."

He later retweeted a comment from parliamentary assistant Jordan Greer, who said: "Collapses NI assembly and refuses to take seats in parliament. One of Sinn Fein's newest MP's main concern is their hotel room size in London."

When contacted for a response last night, Ms McCallion told the Belfast Telegraph she did not want to be drawn into the matter.

She said: "I didn't think becoming an MP meant you had to lose your sense of humour as well.

"It really is ridiculous."

Sinn Fein added: "Sinn Fein 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."

In her first political engagement as MP last Sunday, Ms McCallion became the first Sinn Fein MP to attend a First World War commemoration service, with the event taking place at the cenotaph in the Diamond in Londonderry.

The service marked the 100th anniversary of the battle of Messines, when soldiers of the 16th Irish and 36th Ulster Division fought alongside each other for the first time.

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