DUBLIN (AP) — Britain’s defense ministry says two lawmakers from Northern Ireland have been barred from visiting troops in Afghanistan until they can find flak jackets big enough to fit their bellies. The ministry said Ken Maginnis and David Simpson were scheduled to fly to Kabul this week, but army-issued body armor doesn’t exceed 49 inches (124.5 centimeters), too snug for both.
A ministry spokesman said Thursday the British army offers “a wide range of sizes but, regrettably, none was suitable on this occasion.”
Maginnis, a 72-year-old member of the House of Lords, insists he’s less plump than two years ago, when the army did get him to Afghanistan with body armor that fit. Maginnis describes himself and Simpson as “reasonably normal, although we are bigger than most.”