Belfast Telegraph

Local Election 2019

Watch: BBC presenter highlights men only panel during election debate

Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

BBC presenter Mark Carruthers highlighted how the five main political parties provided only spokesmen for the debate on the results of the local elections on the Sunday Politics show in Northern Ireland.

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

"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?"

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.

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