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DUP MP Paisley 'oops' moment as he sends email to hundreds joking about NI Executive

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Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley said comments made about the Stormont Executive which were emailed to more than 300 people, were made in a "jocular manner" and meant for a friend.

As the track and trace scheme in England got off to a shaky start yesterday, it emerged that North Antrim MP had accidentally emailed hundreds of MPs saying he "wouldn't let any government, least of all the NI Execuitive [sic], track and trace me and my movements!"

The email was seen by Sunday Times journalist Gabriel Pogrund, who shared the story on social media, adding that Mr Paisley said he was "responding in a 'jocular manner', and backs efforts to support health of the nation".

Mr Paisley said in a second email: "Oops, was replying in a jocular manner to a friend and obviously sent you all an email by mistake.

"Of course I support measures to protect the health of the nation by our government and NI Executive.

"Hope you saw the funny side of that. Ian."

The email which sparked the exchange was from a member of the public who said the government should direct their focus towards contact tracing.

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"Please consider devolving responsibility to local health centres who can be trusted," it said.

Contacted by the Belfast Telegraph on Thursday night, the MP was reluctant to comment further on the email.

“It is what it is,” he said.

Earlier First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster told a Stormont press conference that the Northern Ireland contact tracing scheme was the “cornerstone of what we are doing to try to control the virus”.

She said she was “very pleased that we are the first part of the UK to have contact tracing in place and I hope that everyone realises we're ahead in relation to that”.

The DUP has not responded to requests for comment.

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