DUP veteran Sammy Wilson likened Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuiness to a dim-witted comedy character at the weekend, as the unionist stalwart sought to maintain pressure on the party over the Daithi McKay affair.
Mr Wilson, MP for East Antrim, joined the Ulster Unionists in deriding claims that Sinn Fein’s hierarchy had not been made aware of Mr McKay’s inappropriate dealings with Jamie Bryson.
In a reference to the hit BBC comedy Fawlty Towers, Mr Wilson said that Martin McGuinness’ behaviour reminded him of the character Manuel – a calamity-prone Spanish waiter who was famous for professing: ‘I know nothing’.
Mr Wilson said that while Sinn Fein may be hoping last week’s revelations will be soon forgotten, other political parties “would be doing untold damage to the already tarnished Assembly if they allowed Sinn Fein off the hook”.
He said that “whilst Martin McGuiness protests his ignorance of the affair and claims, Manuel-like, that ‘I know nothing’, all the evidence points to a well-planned Sinn Fein strategy to give a platform to Bryson to make his outrageous claims”.
He added that “many commentators have speculated why McKay, who was one of the more prominent and able Sinn Fein Assembly members, did not receive any post in the new Assembly and was overlooked in favour of newer and less-experienced members when it came to promotion”.
Mr Wilson asked: “Could it be that the party leaders knew what he had done and were ensuring that their embarrassment was minimised if the truth ever came out as it was bound to do given the penchant that Jamie Bryson had for self promotion and publicity?”