Belfast Telegraph

DUP boycotts Nolan Show because it is 'the best way of hurting him', admits Sammy Wilson

Sammy Wilson.
Sammy Wilson.

The DUP took a collective decision not to appear on the BBC's Nolan Show because it was the "best way of hurting him" after the presenter's coverage of the party's role in the RHI scandal.

The DUP has officially boycotted the Nolan Show in recent years due to its coverage of the fallout of the botched energy scheme.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson, speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback, said that the party is not "scared of Stephen Nolan's questions' and that party representatives are often quizzed by journalists.

The East Antrim MP said: "For years and years I went on to the Nolan Show. I wasn't worried about the questions he asked me, in fact, the more robust an interview the more I enjoy it.

"We made a collective decision as a party that we would not participate in the Nolan Show for particular reasons.

"Especially because of the biased way in which we believe the DUP were being singled out by Stephen Nolan and we took the view - 'what is the best way of hurting him? The best way of hurting him is not to appear on his show' and that is what we have done.

"Not because of we are scared of his questions."

A BBC spokesperson said that "issues around the RHI scheme remain a matter of significant public interest".

"We have reported this story and the work of Sir Patrick Coghlin’s Inquiry team with fairness and integrity," the spokesperson said.

"Our airwaves remain open to all elected representatives, including the DUP.”

DUP MP Ian Paisley appeared on the Nolan Show last week to discuss television license fees for the over 75s.

The party's MLA Jim Wells, who has had the DUP whip withdrawn, also regularly appears on the programme.

Stephen Nolan and the BBC have denied any bias in the reporting of the RHI scandal or of the DUP.

A DUP whistleblower told the Nolan Show last year that the DUP "detests" the radio presenter "with every fibre of its body".

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