Looking back... Foot and Mouth ‘prevented’ MP from attending meeting

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A Larne councillor hit out after the sitting MP did not attend a meeting in Scotland regarding the roads network in Scotland and Northern Ireland in April 2001.

Bobby McKee said he was deeply saddened that local MP Roy Beggs did not attend the North Channel Partnership Group meeting.

The meeting involved a number of local politicians and officials, but controversy arose over some SDLP and UUP politicians, including Mr Beggs deciding not to attend because of Foot and Mouth outbreaks in the area.

The MP said he believed it was prudent for elected representatives living in a rural area to avoid unnecessary risk of spread of the disease.

He added in a statement that he believed that communication with Dumfries and Galloway by using “alternative means” than the visit would be more beneficial due to the risk of spreading the disease.

However, Cllr McKee said the meeting was not in any area affected by Foot and Mouth and he believed that SDLP representatives and Mr Beggs should have attended.

He said he was pleased that MLA Ken Robinson from the UUP had attended as well as Roger Hutchinson and Gardiner Kane had been present.