'I favour pest control': DUP MP who called grey squirrels 'the Hamas of the squirrel world' explains bizarre comparison

29 November 2023, 22:03

Stella Creasy compares mosquitos to Hezbollah

By Will Taylor

The DUP MP who compared grey squirrels to terrorists Hamas terrorists has said he is in "favour of pest control" as he explained his curious comparison on LBC.

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Jim Shannon was mocked online after he drew comparisons between the nut-loving rodents and the rampaging militants in the Middle East.

He told his colleagues about efforts to protect red squirrels at Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland, describing how a National Trust ranger team was in contact "with local landowners to monitor red squirrels and eradicate any greys that venture in".

He added: "Indeed, the issue is the very presence of grey squirrels – grey squirrels are the Hamas of the squirrel world."

And appearing on LBC's Cross Question with Iain Dale on Wednesday, he refused to back down on his bizarre linking of the animal with a proscribed terror group.

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"I'm a great believer in pest control. The fact of the matter is the very presence of grey squirrels means the death of the red squirrels. I believe in the iconic red squirrel."

He explained: "The grey squirrel carries a pox [which] kills all the red squirrels."

Labour MP Stella Creasy joked there is "no two-squirrel state solution" as Mr Shannon told her: "I'm very much in favour of the Labour reds - but not the greys."

His original comments provoked disbelief and mockery online.

"That's enough internet for me tonight...." said one X user after watching the clip.

Another said: "I really did not have the DUP down to emerge as the champion of our native Irish Red Squirrels against the colonialist foreign grey squirrel invaders."

And a third suggested: "I think this is how memes are born. Egg & Onion sandwiches are the Hamas of the Sandwich world."