An Ulster Unionist MLA has hit out at the First Minister after she described him a Chihuahua in a debate over Brexit.
The debate began after Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin Mcguinness released a letter sent to Theresa May outlining their priorities for the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
When UUP MLA for South Antrim Steve Aiken criticised the DUP for their “u-turn”, Mrs Foster said that the party had sent their “attack dog” but he was “more like a Chihuahua”.
He quickly responded that this was the “first time I've ever been compared to small but intelligent & ferocious Mexican attack dog.”
The joint letter raised five areas of concern for Northern Ireland after Brexit - the border border between Northern Ireland and the Republic; trading costs; the energy market; loss of EU funding and the agri-food sector.
As the DUP supported leaving the European Union, other parties accused Mrs Foster’s party of trying to “have their cake and eat it”.
Dear Theresa,— Naomi Long MLA (@naomi_long) August 11, 2016
I want to have my cake and eat it.
Leaving EU but keeping all benefits not an option.https://t.co/Y0lSAQc7CK
Mr Aiken told the BBC: "These are all concerns that existed before the referendum.
"Indeed given the content of the letter I would question whether this is a DUP u-turn on their position on the referendum after the vote has taken place?”
Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster, Mrs Foster said she didn’t believe campaigning for Brexit was a mistake and it will bring opportunities as well as challenges.
Responding to the UUP MLA’s comments, she said: "Poor Steven Aiken has been sent out once again to be the attack dog against the executive and frankly, he comes across more as a Chihuahua."
But Mr Aiken quickly responded on Twitter and his colleague Councillor Stephen Nicholl sent a photo of a Chihuahua baring his teeth, adding the comment that this was the UUP’s “new mascot”.
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