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David Gordon Stormont spin doctor appointment dominates Stephen Nolan show

Journalist is editor of the Radio Ulster show

David Gordon
David Gordon
Stephen Nolan
First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Stephen Nolan returned from his holidays on Monday - and the first and indeed only item on the agenda for his first BBC Radio Ulster show was the issues surrounding the appointment of Stormont's new spin doctor, his show's editor David Gordon.

It was announced last week that Mr Gordon is to become the most senior spokesman for First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

However, his appointment has drawn criticism after it emerged the post - which commands a £75,000 salary - had not been advertised, and that the First and Deputy First Ministers used powers under what is known as the Royal Prerogative to create the role for the BBC journalist and former Belfast Telegraph political editor.

The BBC has said Mr Gordon remains an employee for the time being, however, he has been taken off editorial duties.

The matter was investigated on the Stephen Nolan show.


More: Poacher-turned-gamekeeper David Gordon snared in a story definitely not of his making

Yesterday morning the Executive Office released a further second weekend statement on the matter.

It said: "Ministers use ministerial powers to make ministerial appointments.

"The Executive Office has supplied the relevant order to any media outlet that requested it and has provided media with details of the legislation under which the appointment was made since it was announced.

"To suggest there was any 'secret' is stretching credibility to breaking point."

A number of political parties have expressed concern at the way the whole process has been handled by Mrs Foster and Mr McGuinness.

Alliance MLA Naomi Long said the fashion in which Mr Gordon was appointed to the role was "scandalous", while TUV leader Jim Allister described it as "Stalinist".

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