A NORTHERN Ireland politician has condemned people acting like 'the Stasi' of East Germany after he was seen not wearing a mask on public transport.
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politician and MP Sammy Wilson was seen travelling on the London Underground without wearing a mask despite public health guidelines stating that face coverings must be worn on the public transport to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
A photograph of the MP was posted to Twitter by user James (@geeums) who tagged the DUP and Northern Ireland outlet The Belfast Telegraph in the picture.
"Sammy Wilson MP on tube in London this morning with no mask after a £200 fine (for non-compliance) announced earlier this week.
"Disgrace," he added. "Rules not apply to MPs?"
— James (@geeums) September 24, 2020
Following backlash, the MP told PA News Agency "I didn't have a mask on, should have had it on and am offering no excuse".
However, he added that it is "sad that we have now become like East Germany under the Stasi where members of the public think it is acceptable to act as snoops", saying the concerned member of the public should have approached him privately rather than posting his photograph on social media.
When pressured on the subject, leader of the DUP and First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, said "everyone is subject to the law everyone is equally subject to the law and equal under the law".
She declined to comment further as Mr Wilson had already "made a statement in relation to that matter".
The MP for East Antrim has previously made comments appearing to oppose the use of masks, such as posting a tweet in July where he wrote: "Support local business. You can't eat [ice-cream] when you're muzzled!"
Support local business. You can’t eat🍦when you’re muzzled! pic.twitter.com/sc4GHzs8ix
— Sammy Wilson MP (@eastantrimmp) July 31, 2020