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Simon Hamilton again dodges question on how he voted in EU referendum

People are not interested in how I voted says DUP Economy Minister asked 12 times on how he voted

By Jonny Bell

Published 23/09/2016

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton

The DUP Economy Minister has again dodged the question on how he voted in the EU referendum.

Simon Hamilton was repeatedly asked on Thursday night's The View on the BBC which way he voted.

And, as he did with the Belfast Telegraph, shortly after taking up his appointment in July, he would not directly answer the question.

More: Brexit: DUP minister Hamilton won't say how he voted but he's backing Arlene Foster

Mr Hamilton was asked about his party's and Sinn Fein's position on various matters when SDLP leader Column Eastwood asked him how he voted in June's EU referendum. Which he ignored.

Host Mark Carruthers then took on the questioning asking if the Economy Minister would "lay the issue to rest once and for all".

Mr Hamilton said he was committed to getting the "best deal for Northern Ireland" in the forthcoming exit negotiations and was "very comfortable" with the result.

He added: "I absolutely support my party's position in respect of leaving the European Union.

"There is nothing to be gained from going over the referendum campaign.

"There are huge opportunities to be gained from brexit.

When it was put to him that people would assume from his response that he voted remain, the minister added: "People are not interested in how I voted."

After being shouted down by other guests, he added: "What they are interested in is whether we can get the best deal for Northern Ireland and that is what we are doing."

Finally when asked if he voted leave or remain and if he would give a straight answer, he again repeated that there "were huge opportunities" before being cut off.

For two minutes 15 seconds of the show Mr Hamilton was asked 12 times on how he voted.

On Friday morning, The Belfast Telegraph contacted the DUP to ask, once again, if Mr Hamilton would say how he voted in the referendum.

A spokesman said he had answered the question, adding: "People have moved on and Simon has moved on from the campaign and he is focused on getting the best deal for Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations."

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