DUP MP Sammy Wilson has been branded “woefully out of touch” for saying people should “go to the chippy” if a no-deal Brexit leaves their supermarket shelves empty.
The party’s Brexit spokesman could be heard heckling rivals in the Commons after the SNP’s Ian Blackford raised a warning about potential food shortages by the British Retail Consortium.
Supermarket chiefs voiced fears this week that the UK crashing out of the EU on March 29 – something which Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to rule out – could lead to food shortages and price hikes.
Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, was telling MPs: “We are used to seeing images of empty shelves in war-torn or failing states and there is now a real threat of empty shelves happening in the United Kingdom in two months.”
In the background, the East Antrim MP can be heard to shout “go to the chippy”.
Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery told HuffPost UK: “This outrageous comment highlights quite vividly how many Parliamentarians are woefully out of touch and insulting many poor and vulnerable people is not the answer.
“Instead of the DUP filling their political coffers with central government finances and propping up a zombie government, they should focus their attentions on how to better the lives of people who are suffering out their in the real world, many who reside in his constituency.”
Green MP Caroline Lucas, meanwhile, took to Twitter to say Wilson should be “ashamed”.
Blackford, who was speaking during parliament’s debate on a set of amendments to May’s Plan B Brexit, said afterwards: “I’m sorry to hear that that was a remark that was made.
“You know this is a really important debate and I think there is a responsibility that we take these matters seriously, each and every one of us.”
The DUP’s Gavin Robinson later told the BBC the remark should “not be taken too seriously”.
“I wasn’t there, I didn’t hear it but all I’m saying is I wouldn’t take it too seriously,” he said.
“If it was said, it was said in humour and I’m sure it was received as such.”