Belfast Telegraph

Local Election 2019

Men-only TV politics panel sparks debate

The line-up on BBC NI’s Sunday Politics
The line-up on BBC NI’s Sunday Politics

By Staff Reporter

BBC presenter Mark Carruthers called out the five main political parties for only providing male spokespersons for a debate on the local election results on the Sunday Politics show.

The broadcaster said it was the same case as the previous Thursday evening on his programme The View.

"As ever we work hard to get a gender balance," he said. Addressing the panel, he added: "All those capable articulate women you have in your ranks ... none of them with us today?"

For a full breakdown visit our Election hub and check out the results from each council: Antrim and Newtownabbey --- Ards and North Down --- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon --- Belfast --- Causeway Coast and Glens --- Derry and Strabane --- Fermanagh and Omagh --- Lisburn and Castlereagh --- Mid and East Antrim --- Mid Ulster --- Newry, Mourne and Down

He was met with silence. "Well, that is your call," he added.

On Twitter the journalist Tim Brannigan added: "If you're looking for diversity, some are wearing ties, some aren't."

DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly - who pointed out the presenter was also white and male - defended the parties.

"Not clear if all the parties were told who else was on the panel, therefore no one realised all other parties were sending men," she tweeted.

Fellow BBC presenter William Crawley weighed into the debate online. "Most days, I have an all-female production team and a female editor, and they work extremely hard trying to persuade more work to be guests and join panels. It's a challenge."

He added: "We all - and I include myself - need to do better. It's 2019."

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