A DUP councillor has called comments made by a Sinn Féin councillor about a pro-Brexit speaker addressing the Brexit committee as “disgraceful”.

At Tuesday’s meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) Sinn Féin’s Chris McCaffrey comments were in response to the Deborah Armstrong (DUP) securing Lee Reynolds, who was director of Vote Leave NI and is the current director of policy for the DUP, to speak to the committee about the benefits of Brexit.

“Given all the chaos it is pretty evident he is not an expert.

“I’m more than happy to listen to him but by this stage he is more than proven wrong,” said Councillor McCaffrey.

“Surely at this stage his expertise has to be called into question but I’m more than happy to listen for entertainment value.”

DUP Councillor Errol Thomson called for respect and equality while Councillor Armstrong said the use of language by Councillor McCaffrey was disgraceful.

“I come from a different position to you. I think that is just disgraceful language to use against someone who is coming to use their own time to speak to committee and to say that is for entertainment value, that is disgraceful.

“Councillor McCaffrey needs to remember that there are people across Fermanagh and Omagh who take a different point of view on this. So for someone to come here and for it to be said in this Council chamber anybody from a different position is for entertainment value is disgraceful. I think he should retract his comments. It is disgraceful anybody should read that or hear that before they come here. They should be treated with respect.”

Sinn Féin’s Sheamus Greene told the chamber that he had been calling on a pro-Brexit speaker attending the committee and applauded Councillor Armstrong for securing somebody.

He said he would listen would great interest but the fact he led the Leave campaign in Northern Ireland brings into question his expertise.

Councillor John McCluskey supported Councillor Armstrong’s calls for respect and the opportunity of a pro-Brexit speaker saying: “If we don’t show respect to one another in this chamber with all our different views then what kind of message are sending out to the general public?”

Councillor McCaffrey pointed out that at no time was he against Mr. Reynolds coming to the meeting he said he found it “hilarious” that anyone would try and argue that Brexit was a positive.

Independent Councillor Emmet McAleer said it was interesting that the person “roped” into giving the presentation was the DUP’s director of policy while Ulster Unionist Victor Warrington said he believed the Brexit Committee was a waste of time which could not achieve anything worthwhile.

Councillor Armstrong had the final say: “Not everybody who comes to the Brexit Committee is an expert. I think Lee Reynolds is within his rights to come.

“He was director of Vote Leave NI and will be able to provide the Brexit Committee with reasons why he was advocating for Vote Leave in Northern Ireland.”