A Northern Irish politician has been forced to apologise “unreservedly” after being snapped shoe shopping during a Stormont meeting examining the response to Covid-19.

DUP assembly member (MLA) Alex Easton was caught apparently browsing for new footwear while sitting in a health committee meeting by cameras filming the meeting.

Easton can be seen scrolling what looks like an online retail site before clicking on a shoe to examine in further detail.

The shopping spree occurred while Public Health Agency officials were remotely giving evidence about their response to the pandemic, which has killed 516 in the country, according to official death tolls.

Safe to say Easton’s actions weren’t well received.

In response, the MLA has now apologised “unreservedly” to the committee.

In a statement to theBelfast Telegraph, he said:

I apologise unreservedly for disrespecting the committee

My shoes were worn through. The shops are closed. But that is not an excuse, I should have found time outside of the committee to resolve the matter.

It will not happen again. I have written to the Assembly Speaker and the Committee Chair to apologise.

If it walks like an excuse, sounds like an excuse but insists it is not an excuse… is it an excuse?

Bizarrely, Easton also accompanied a similar statement to BBC News NI with a picture of his worn shoes.

DUP leader Arelene Foster said he had acknowledged his behaviour was “wrong”.

Alex has acknowledged he should not have been doing that, of course he should not have been shopping online during the committee, when we are in this health crisis.

What we all need to do is ensure we work very hard to deal with all the issues in front of us.

Which is, apparently, trying to oppose the legal right of women to have abortions.

With that in mind, maybe keep up the shoe shopping instead.

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