DUP's Sammy Wilson has been ruled a "disgrace" after a photo of the MP who was not wearing a face mask in London Underground was exposed.
Anger erupted on social media after Mr Wilson read a face-uncovered magazine on Thursday's trip from Westminster to Heathrow.
A witness claimed the 67-year-old MP did not wear a mask for the entire duration of the trip, despite fines of £ 200 for those who did not cover their faces while on the London transport.
Critics used social media to question the politician after the picture surfaced this week. One called Mr Wilson a "shame" and asked, "Rules don't apply to MPs?"
He added: & # 39; Sammy Wilson MP in London this morning without a mask after a £ 200 fine announced earlier this week. Shame. & # 39;
Another condemned what he claimed was "highly irresponsible behavior" by the East Antrim MP, adding, "I hope he will reconsider his actions and show some respect for other people on the tube in the future."
DUP's Sammy Wilson was deemed "disgraceful" after a photo of the MP without a face mask appeared underground in London
Anger erupted on social media after Mr Wilson read a face-uncovered magazine on Thursday's trip from Westminster to Heathrow
North Down MP Stephen Farry tweeted, "Most NI MPs recognize, understand, and respect face mask rules" in public transport.
Mr Wilson has now accepted that he should have been wearing a mask while complaining that Britain "has become like East Germany under the Stasi, where the public considers it acceptable to act as a snoop".
The MP, who previously referred to face coverings as "muzzles", further asked why the person who took the photo did not approach him on the train.
He also claimed he only took the mask off briefly to make a call, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
"Whoever took the picture didn't approach me or tell me something that would have been the right way to act," he added.
New data has shown that less than 0.1 percent of people stopped by police for not wearing masks on trains have received a fine.
A witness alleged that the 67-year-old MP did not wear a mask for the entire duration of the trip, despite fines of £ 200 for those who did not cover their faces while on the London transport
Speaking at a Stormont press conference about Mr. Wilson's photo, DUP chair Arlene Foster said everyone was "equally subject to the law".
UK traffic police said they stopped 14,726 people for non-compliance between July 15 and August 15. 14 fixed criminal charges were issued, the BBC reported.
From July 30th to September 8th, the authorities recorded 50,729 "interventions" involving passengers without a mask. About 3,545 were asked to leave the train.
The rules introduced in June require that everyone who uses public transport wears a face covering. However, BTP said fines would only be considered a "last resort".
Speaking about the photo of Mr. Wilson at a Stormont executive press conference, DUP chair Arlene Foster said everyone was "equally subject to the law".
"I want to make this as clear as possible, everyone is subject to the law, everyone is equally subject to the law and everyone is equal to the law," she said.
"So it is important that we remember and that is the position of the DUP."
She added on Thursday that she has not yet had a chance to speak to Mr Wilson about the matter.
"Everyone has to obey the law and face the consequences and not obey these laws," she said.
Those who do not wear a mask on public transport in London can face a £ 200 fine, which doubles up to £ 6,400 every time a person is caught.
There are exceptions to the rule for reasons of age, health and disability.
Earlier this week, Conservative MP Danny Kruger apologized after being spotted wearing no mask while on public transport in London.
Mr. Kruger, David Cameron's former speechwriter, said in a statement: “I got into an almost empty car in Hungerford and just forgot to put on my mask.
When I got to Paddington I realized my mistake and hushed myself up for the rest of my trip.
“If the person had reminded me instead of taking a picture and posting it on social media, I would of course have put my mask on every now and then.
"I apologize for my mistake."
Mr. Wilson was previously open about the wearing of face coverings.
In July, he tweeted a photo of himself in an ice cream parlor in Co Antrim without a mask with the message "You can't eat ice cream if you have a muzzle!"
Indoor face covering became mandatory in Northern Ireland on August 10th.