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Nesbitt raises questions over appointment of spin doctor David Gordon

By Staff Reporter

Published 15/09/2016

Controversy: David Gordon
Controversy: David Gordon

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt leader has written to Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness after the former editor of the BBC's Nolan Show was appointed their chief spin doctor.

Former Belfast Telegraph political editor David Gordon is one of Northern Ireland's most respected journalists, earning plaudits for holding the Executive to account.

Now the 51-year-old will be the man in charge of selling the First and Deputy First Ministers' message to the public as he take up a £75,000 a year role.

However, UUP leader Mike Nesbitt sent a letter to the Executive Office raising questions over the appointment. He asked whether the post had been advertised and if Mr Gordon would qualify as a civil servant. The letter adds: "Did he complete a competitive, competence-based recruitment process? If not, under what process was he appointed?"

The note also demands to know if there was a period when the post had been accepted, but Mr Gordon was still working for Stephen Nolan's show.

Mr Gordon said earlier: "Journalists have a duty to hold politicians to account and ask the tough questions that need to be asked.

"I've always tried to do that, but it is important that the Government has space to make its case too."

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