Irish MEP Luke “Ming” Flanagan’s efforts to contribute to a debate on agriculture and the EU’s long-term budget were slightly undone by the fact that he wasn’t wearing trousers.
Flanagan was taking part in a discussion in the European Parliament’s agriculture committee via videoconference on Tuesday sitting on a bed wearing a shirt and underpants.
Mr Flanagan could be seen rubbing his upper leg as he said to the committee: “We read in some European newspapers how this money will be broken down state-by-state. Where can MEPs get definitive information on this rather than reading it second-hand from European journalism?”
Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Norbert Lins hid a smile when the camera returned to him, as his English translator attempted not to laugh when putting Mr Flanagan’s question to the committee for debate.
Asked about his state of undress by a journalist on Twitter, Flanagan said he was “just back from a run” and “was in a T-shirt two minutes before. Decided to put on shirt to look respectable! That worked really well.” He added: “Hope you like my legs!”
Flanagan later tweeted at fellow Irish MEP Mick Wallace, known for his flamboyant shirts: “I’ll see your pink shirt and raise you a pair of underwear.”
Mr Flanagan was also criticised, with one social media user saying: “I don’t think it’s wise to show up with no pants in an official meeting, especially when you’re supposed to be an EU decision-maker. I’d personally get fired if I’d do that. Lack of respect really.”
To which Mr Flanagan replied: “You’re some craic.”