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East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has said Leo Varadkar should listen to the advice from the Secretary of State to “dial down the rhetoric” and put stability ahead of his own party politics.

Mr Robinson raised comments from the Tanaiste during Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons. Speaking afterwards he said

“The intervention of Leo Varadkar was not just unhelpful but is destabilising at a time when there are clear political tensions in Northern Ireland. Indeed, one can only imagine what the response from Mr Varadkar himself would have been had the Prime Minister made such dismissive and disrespectful comments about nationalists in Northern Ireland.

Leo Varadkar is of course perfectly entitled to support and argue for a united Ireland. However, I am glad the Secretary of State recognised how his views deviate from the principle of consent which is a cornerstone of political progress in Northern Ireland. Despite the loud and regular proclamations about the Irish Government’s role as a ‘co-guarantor’ of the Belfast Agreement, Mr Varadkar is happy to ditch this when it suits.

The comments are a pathetically transparent attempt to ‘out-green’ Sinn Fein and it is no coincidence they come in the wake of recent opinion polls within the Republic. Leo Varadkar should listen to the advice of the Secretary of State and dial down the rhetoric. It shows little regard for either Northern Ireland or its people that Leo Varadkar is happy to put party politics ahead of our stability and progress.”