DUP MP compares grey squirrels to Hamas – no, really

DUP MP compares grey squirrels to Hamas – no, really

Jim Shannon, a DUP MP, made the strange comparison

Parliament TV

A member of parliament has drawn widespread criticism for saying grey squirrels are “the Hamas of the squirrel world”.

Jim Shannon, a DUP member, was speaking in a Westminster debate on how to protect endangered red squirrels on Tuesday when he made the comparison.

Hamas, a proscribed terrorist organisation by the UK government, was behind a deadly attack on Israel on 7 October.

Shannon said: “The Ards Red Squirrel Group is full of fantastic volunteers who work tirelessly to protect the future of the red squirrel in my constituency of Strangford, particularly at Mount Stewart.

“The organisation is led by the National Trust Mount Stewart ranger team, and they are in constant contact with local landowners to monitor red squirrels and eradicate any greys that venture in.

“Indeed, the issue is the very presence of grey squirrels – grey squirrels are the Hamas of the squirrel world.”

He went on to suggest there should be “greater integration” between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and local red squirrel groups to ensure they have the “means necessary to preserve and expand the red squirrel species throughout Northern Ireland”.

People on social media were understandably perplexed. One person said: “Wtf is this guy on?”

Another said: “Does anyone know [Shannon] personally? Is he really this much of an idiot?”

And a third had one, quite fitting, word of judgement: “Nuts.”

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