MLAs differ over beauty show ethics

It’s not all glamorous at Stormont as two Upper Bann MLAs have a face-off over a beauty pageant.

The political correctness war began after Ulster Unionist Jo-Anne Dobson pulled out as a judge to find Miss Ulster because it ‘excluded’ women who didn’t meet a specific size.

However SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly thinks it’s all a bit of fun and is happy to take part as a judge this weekend.

Mrs Dobson had signed up to be a judge but withdrew this week saying she was ‘not aware that this competition excluded anyone from entry’.

“Whilst I have no issues with modelling as a career, Parliament Buildings is all about inclusivity,” she said.

She withdrew from the judging panel for the event, which was due to take place in the Great Hall, after it was branded discriminatory.

The winner of the Miss Ulster event will go on to represent Ulster in the Ireland heat of the Miss Universe competition.

It is being hosted by Mrs Dobson’s former party colleague and now NI21 leader Basil McCrea.

Some politicians had questioned why such an event was being staged at Stormont while others also criticised the entry criteria.

Those entering the contest must be aged between 18 and 24, be at least 5ft 7ins tall and must be between a size eight and 12.

SDLP deputy leaderMrs Kelly said the event would be ‘showcasing’ the work of designers from Belfast Metropolitan College.

“It’s a bit of fun,” said the MLA.

“There’s been a lot of different events held at Stormont. People are trying to impose their beliefs and judgements on others,” she said.