Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan bares his bottom half to European Parliament

Independent MEP on screen at committee meeting dressed in a shirt but little else

Independent Irish MEP Luke "Ming" Flanagan lived out a remote working nightmare on Tuesday by participating in a European Parliament committee meeting on agriculture in a state of undress.

When given the floor by the committee chairman, Mr Flanagan appeared on screen sitting on a bed, from which he was taking part remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The video revealed him to be dressed in a shirt, but with very little on his bottom half.

"Thank you very much Commissioner Hahn. Obviously at all times we should be trying to get the maximum bang for our buck, " Mr Flanagan told the committee from the bed as he rubbed his bare legs, apparently unaware the camera was showing his bottom half.


"In countries like Ireland where people are on smaller payments these farmers are even suffering further," he continued, in reference to European Union CAP subsidies for farmers.

The interpreters who were live translating his words into various European languages could be heard fighting back laughter as Mr Flanagan spoke.

Following the contribution, committee chair MEP Norbert Lins grinned as he thanked Mr Flanagan for his words.

The representative for Midlands-North-West laughed off the incident on social media, saying he had just returned from a run.

“Was in a T-shirt two minutes before. Decided to put on shirt to look respectable! That worked really well,” Mr Flanagan wrote on Twitter.

He told The Irish Times he was doing most of his meetings from the bedroom in his house in Roscommon as it is “the handiest place to work from” with his wife and children also at home.

“I wasn’t that bothered to be quite honest,” Mr. Flanagan said of his appearance. “What’s in a pair of legs at the end of the day?”

The European Parliament has set up a remote voting system to keep working throughout the pandemic, with MEPs able to cast ballots via email and participate in debates over video link.

Naomi O’Leary

Naomi O’Leary

Naomi O’Leary is Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times