Belfast Telegraph

Sky News dismisses Jonathan Bell claim Ireland correspondent advised DUP how to discredit him

Sky News has dismissed allegations made by former Stormont minister Jonathan Bell that one of its Ireland correspondents was advising the DUP to discredit him when the RHI scandal broke.

Mr Bell, while giving evidence to the RHI inquiry on Thursday morning, alleged David Blevins advised the leadership of the DUP to "attack his Christian faith" after he made the decision to shut down the RHI scheme.

He told the inquiry: "I fear I have been the victim of a massive smear campaign, and I fear this is part of the smear campaign."

Mr Bell was suspended from the DUP in December 2016 after giving a televised interview with BBC journalist Stephen Nolan about the RHI scandal.

In a statement Sky News said: "The suggestion by Jonathan Bell that David Blevins advised the DUP on anything is completely and utterly untrue.”

Sky News added Mr Blevins is himself a Christian who took several years away from work to study theology.

Mr Bell also claimed during the hearing that he was the victim of a "massive smear campaign" by the DUP after he took the decision to shut down the botched green energy scheme.

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