MEP Mairead McGuinness has stated that she will be seeking guidance from an advisory committee following claims that Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP had referred to one of her assistants as a ‘puppy’.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the First Vice-President of the European Parliament 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.”
Mr. Flanagan is understood to have pointed to the assistant – who was in the room representing Ms. McGuinness at an event organised for survivors of sexual abuse – and said: “You don’t send a puppy to win the greyhound derby”.
Mr. Flanagan later took to Twitter to explain that the comment had been made after four Fine Gael members had failed to turn up for the meeting and Ms. McGuinness’ assistant had been sent in their place.