Stormont In Disarray As McElduff Starts Swinging At Nesbitt Over HP Sauce. Maskey On High Alert.
Following a day of turmoil in Stormont, things appeared to go from bad to worse after dinner when apparently Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff accused UUP leader Mike Nesbitt of using the last of the HP Sauce, in badness, and threatened to get Alex Maskey if he did it again.
With tensions running high after Peter Robinson stepped aside as First Minister, Arlene Foster reportedly told Nesbitt that there was another full bottle of HP Sauce in the cupboard and to go ahead and use the last of the brown sauce on the table.
McElduff, who had been sitting at a different table finishing his soup, reportedly ‘went clean mad‘ when he searched for the brown sauce to complement his sausages, champ and beans only to find an empty bottle on its side and Nesbitt slurping on his lasagne drenched in his favourite condiment. Tempers were calmed initially after Foster admitted she was to blame for the mistake, only for things to hot up in the chamber when they retook their seats.
Politics student Lennie Rafferty, on work experience with the SDLP, described how it kicked off:
“There was a tension in the air when they recommenced the day’s agenda after dinner but it all boiled over after Mike Nesbitt started licking his lips and rubbing his belly in front of Barry McElduff. McElduff lost it and there was a free-for-all with the two of them having to be separated by a rake of minor MLAs. Several punches were thrown. Even Arlene got a dig at Alban Maginness.”
Rafferty explained how the ruckus ended when McElduff shouted “I’ll phone Maskey now“.
“You could see Nesbitt’s face go all white and he looked nervous enough as he straightened his suit and made his way to his seat.”
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein issued a statement tonight apologising for McElduff’s outburst but said they understood how eating sausages and beans without HP could send any man, woman or beast over the edge.