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Eamonn Holmes 'was never tempted to join the IRA'

Holmes says father's socialist views and his admiration for SDLP founder Fitt informed his political outlook

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Eamonn Holmes and mum Josie

Eamonn Holmes and mum Josie

Eamonn Holmes and mum Josie

This Morning host Eamonn Holmes has said his father's socialist views meant he was never tempted to join the IRA during the Troubles.

The TV star, who grew up in the New Lodge area of north Belfast, said he was always "aware subconsciously" of his father Leonard being a socialist who believed that "very few politicians are for the working man".

"That's always stayed with me. I've always been probably, you know, socialist or quite middle-of-the-road, but I mean I'm sure I lean towards being socialist in terms of my political views, because of my dad," he said.

Holmes (60) spoke of his father's respect for Gerry Fitt the first leader of the SDLP.

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SDLP politician Gerry Fitt

SDLP politician Gerry Fitt

SDLP politician Gerry Fitt

"I could see my dad was a great admirer of Lord Gerry Fitt, as he became, and there was a decency about Gerry Fitt, and there was just something about ... I think my parents' attitude was, never you mind about that, you get on with what you're doing or what you're supposed to do," he said.

In an interview with journalist Rodney Edwards for his new podcast Human Nature he spoke about the controversy in April when he was forced to apologise over comments he made about 5G technology and coronavirus.

Holmes spoke out on This Morning after presenter Alice Beer branded the conspiracy theories which link them as "ridiculous" and "incredibly stupid".Responding at the time, Holmes said that it was "very easy" to dismiss the conspiracy theory "because it suits the state narrative".

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The couple on This Morning

The couple on This Morning

The couple on This Morning

Invited to respond to the furore, which sparked more than 400 complaints to Ofcom, Holmes said: "I never once said 5G spread coronavirus, I said I respect anybody's right to question any narrative. But I'm not allowed to say anything on those things, and do you know what, I don't care enough about 5G to have an opinion or to care.

"And what disappoints me are a lot of people who deliberately misinterpret what you say, and they either comment on things because they haven't seen the interviewer or read the quote, because they just can."

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Eamonn Holmes with his wife Ruth Langsford on Celebrity Gogglebox

Eamonn Holmes with his wife Ruth Langsford on Celebrity Gogglebox

Eamonn Holmes with his wife Ruth Langsford on Celebrity Gogglebox

During the hour-long interview, Holmes also spoke out about the death of his sister-in-law Julia Johnson, who died by suicide in her Surrey home last year, and the impact it has had on his wife Ruth Langsford and the rest of the family. "It's just the unanswered questions.

"I mean, I experienced the sudden death of my father and there are a lot of loose ends, a lot of things that you wonder were they said, what were your last words, what way did you last deal with that person.

"I think there can often be a guilt when you think, should I have been there, where was I? I was in Belfast, Ruth was in London and her sister was in East Sussex, and you know, what can you do?

"You can't press the rewind button. And what I would honestly say is that we were always very supportive.

"We were a loving family, Ruth could not have done more for her sister, and I think, you know, it takes a lot of getting over that," he said.

n Human Nature is on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud and impartialreporter.com

Belfast Telegraph