Luke 'Ming' Flanagan under fire for labelling fellow Irish MEP's assistant 'a puppy'

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has refused to apologise for the manner in which he allegedly criticised the lack of Fine Gael MEPs at a meeting of sexual abuse survivors in Brussels last week.

The MEP has been criticised for labelling a parliamentary assistant to Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness as "a puppy".

Ms McGuinness said she is not looking for an apology but confirmed she has contacted the European Parliament committee that deals with harassment on foot of the incident.

Flanagan told Shannonside his use of the phrase has been taken out of context.

"Fine Gael, who are in Government, couldn't bother and didn't bother to send a single MEP to meet them after they travelled the whole way to Brussels," he said.

"Yet, you're asking me to apologise to an assistant for saying 'if you want to win a greyhound derby, don't send a puppy'. Really?" he said.

In a statement, MEP McGuinness said:"I wish to confirm that I have written to the relevant body, the Advisory Committee dealing with Harassment Complaints between Accredited Parliamentary Assistants and Members of the European Parliament and its Prevention at the Workplace, about an issue which arose during a meeting in the European Parliament attended by one of my assistants.

"I have asked for guidance from the Advisory Committee on this matter.

I have not sought, either directly or indirectly, an apology from the MEP involved, Mr. Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, nor do I intend to.

I will be making no further comment."

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