ARLENE Foster's special advisor has become the second DUP member to criticise MP Sammy Wilson for his stance on wearing masks in shops.
Emma Little-Pengelly, ex-DUP MP for South Belfast, called out the member for East Antrim after he posted a picture of him visiting The Rinkha in Islandmagee, which is in his constituency.
He said on Friday: "Support local business. You can't eat ice cream when you're muzzled."
This prompted Mrs Little-Pengelly to tweet yesterday: "True! I don't advise eating in a mask (obviously)...apart from that then use a mask. Do you know what's worse than wearing a mask? It is being in intensive care on a ventilator or not being able to breath.
"If not for you, importantly keep our more vulnerable loved ones safe!"
Mr Wilson has not responded to her tweet, which was retweeted more than 120 times and attracted scores of positive comments.
DUP MLA Pam Cameron, deputy chair of the Stormont health committee, also took him to task for his stance on masks in shops.
She replied to one of his tweets last week on the possible enforcement of masks in shops, stating: "Just your opinion Sammy. I for one will be wearing a face covering and doing the little bit I can to protect those whose shielding is paused today."
Mr Wilson, a party veteran, is against the mandatory wearing of masks in shops and tweeted earlier last week: "Given that there were five deaths related to, not caused by, Covid-19 in July and new infections remain low, it would be mad for the health minister to enforce the wearing of face masks in NI. Retail has been open for business throughout July with no Covid spike. Time to rethink."
Face masks are mandatory in shops here as of yesterday but it will not be enforced until August 20, if necessary, to allow the public to get used to the new policy.
Announcing the development, Health Minister Robin Swann said: "We are now starting that period of engagement and education with the general public to try and get as many people as possible wearing face coverings between now and that date."
THE DUP's Ian Paisley has revealed he prays for Sinn Fein deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill every day, saying his faith is "more important to me than all of the political stuff".