22/05/2018 19:58 BST

Fury As Caroline Nokes Admits She Hasn't Read The Good Friday Agreement

Immigration minister said she was 'probably giving birth' when it was published.

Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
Immigration minister Caroline Nokes

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes has sparked fury after admitting she has not read the Good Friday Agreement in full.

The Hampshire MP said she was “probably giving birth” at the time it was first published and had not studied it since taking over her crucial Home Office role in January, despite the 20th anniversary of its signing having been marked in that time.

She told Parliament’s Northern Ireland affairs committee: “I haven’t read it in its entirety, no.”

Asked by North Down independent MP Lady Hermon what level of awareness MPs could expect from other officials in Nokes’ team, the minister replied: “Enormous.”

Committee chair Andrew Murrison said he hoped “officials will be filing her red box” with copies of the agreement following the session. 

Nokes , who appeared in front of the committee to discuss passports, also admitted she has never visited the Irish border - the future of which will play a crucial part in the UK’s final Brexit deal. 

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, champion of the pro-Europe Best For Britain group, said the minister’s answers were “scandalous”.

“This is what happens when the government outsource responsibility to the DUP,” she added.

“We are now seeing a modern day version of Spitting Image as Arlene Foster pulls the strings, calls the shots and tells ministers what to do, and all Whitehall does is write another blank check to her.

“It seems that ministers have no idea of history or even policy.  

“It is scandalous that ministers can deliver answers like this.  It is a slap in the face to the people of Northern Ireland.”