An independent candidate standing in next month’s Assembly election in Foyle has claimed the BBC treated her unfairly when arranging a hustings event in the city earlier this week.
Dove House community worker, Kathleen Bradley, said the BBC did not give her the adequate notice she needed to make arrangements to allow her to take part in a special BBC Radio Ulster outside broadcast of the ‘Talkback’ programme in the Millennium Forum on Wednesday afternoon.
“What’s really hard for me to accept is that I am the only candidate that got a last minute call,” claimed Ms. Bradley.
“All of other candidates were invited last week - in fact I think two actually cancelled today [Wednesday]. Maybe that’s why I got invited today. The fiddlers’ invitation.”
The BBC defended its position and a spokesperson told the ‘Journal’ it was “impossible to be definitive about every candidate standing in every constituency”.
“The ‘Talkback’ outside broadcast was planned prior to the close of nominations for the Northern Ireland Assembly elections.
“Before nominations close, it is impossible to be definitive about every candidate standing in every constituency.
“We became aware that Kathleen Bradley was standing in the Foyle constituency when the nominations were published on Tuesday evening. We gave her reasonable notice of the broadcast and invited her to take part. She declined the invitation,” said the spokesperson.
Ms Bradley announced her candidacy on February 22.
The candidates contesting the Assembly election in Foyle are: Kathleen Bradley (Independent), Maurice Devenney (Independent), Gerard Diver (SDLP), Alan Dunlop (NI Conservatives), Mark H Durkan (SDLP), Colum Eastwood (SDLP), Mary Hassan (Green NI), Julia Kee (UUP), John Lindsay (CISTA), Eamonn McCann (People Before Profit), Raymond McCartney (Sinn Fein), Chris McCaw (Alliance), Dr Anne McCloskey (Independent), Martin McGuinness (Sinn Fein), Maeve McLaughlin (Sinn Fein) and Gary Middleton (DUP).