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David Simpson and Lord Maginnis

Irish politicians too fat for Afghanistan trip says army

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David Simpson and Lord Maginnis

Two Northern Irish politicians have had to abandon a trip to Afghanistan because the Ministry of Defense does not have body armor large enough to fit them.

Lord Ken Maginnis who weighs 250 pounds and MP David Simpson who is 238 pounds had been scheduled to visit troops from the Royal Irish and the Irish Guards.

The pair were forced to postpone plans because the protective jackets required by everyone visiting the conflict area only go up to 49 inches.

A Minister of Defense spokeswoman said: "Nobody is allowed to board an aircraft to Afghanistan without correctly fitting body armor.

"The MoD provides a wide range of sizes but regrettably none was suitable on this occasion.

"We recognize the importance of MPs visiting Afghanistan but this trip has been postponed while we try to source sufficiently sized body armor."

According to Maginnis, now 72 he made the trip two years ago and has lost weight since. The Ulster Unionist said  he was frustrated by the news: "I wanted to go out and meet the troops and made considerable efforts to clear my diary, so this made me very cross.

"The reality is that we have young men and women out there fighting for us. They are putting their lives on the line. They deserve a little bit of consideration. I am no giant, neither is Davy Simpson (Democratic Unionist). We are both reasonably normal, although we are bigger than most," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

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