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I wasn't right on cue, admits new SDLP party leader Alasdair McDonnell

By Liam Clarke

Published 08/11/2011

Dr Alasdair McDonnell
Dr Alasdair McDonnell

Alasdair McDonnell has said mistakes in positioning an autocue were responsible for his stuttering performance during his maiden leadership speech.

The new SDLP leader was forced several times to ask for lights to be turned off during his Sunday speech which was broadcast live on TV.

He said: “The lights on the ceiling and the television lights all seemed to be bouncing off it. The autocue wasn’t just useless, it was a liability.”

Dr McDonnell added: “I lost my concentration and focus.”

When he put on his tinted glasses the problem did at least ease a little. An events expert who watched the footage said: “At the SDLP conference a large T-shaped light was shining through the glass. The ‘cue’ should have been moved a few inches to the right or left.”

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