Almost a month after vowing to launch legal proceedings against the BBC over a Spotlight television programme, First Minister Peter Robinson has yet to issue a writ, the corporation has said.
On July 3, a programme about the firm Red Sky and decisions taken by DUP minister Nelson McCausland was broadcast. The programme made public details of an email which Mr Robinson sent to the BBC saying that if it broadcast the criticisms of him contained in the programme he had instructed his lawyer to begin proceedings against Spotlight without further instructions.
The morning after the programme was broadcast,the DUP issued a statement which said that it had “instructed lawyers to initiate action against Spotlight and a number of the participants on the basis of a series of inaccurate claims and defamatory statements contained within the programme. Such intolerable inaccuracies will be challenged using all available options and opportunities.”
But yesterday a BBC spokeswoman said that the corporation had not received any writ.
A DUP spokesman said: “The matter is with our legal team and further comment will be made in due course.”
In 2010, Mr Robinson threatened to sue Spotlight over its revelations about his wife, Iris, but no such legal challenge materialised.
The Spotlight programme included an interview with DUP councillor Jenny Palmer in which she alleged that Mr McCausland’s special adviser, wStephen Brimstone, had put pressure on her to change her vote at a key Housing Executive board meeting in favour of Red Sky.
Mr Brimstone, who has declined to be interviewed, denies the allegation.