A DUP MLA has hit out at a senior Tory MP who suggested George Best Belfast City Airport would have to close if budget airline Flybe failed.
The airport denied this was the case, and East Belfast MLA Robin Newton described the claim by Tobias Elwood MP on BBC Radio 4 as "unhelpful, unprofessional and unsettling".
"That a senior Conservative MP, via the airwaves, would make a negative statement regarding the airport's future is just appalling," said Mr Newton.
He said any concerns about the airport's future should have been raised with its management. "To air his thoughts without prior consultation demonstrates a lack of professionalism."