Stephen Nolan 'empty chairs' Edwin Poots and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson live on BBC Radio Ulster

Northern Ireland broadcaster, Stephen Nolan, 'empty chaired' both DUP leadership candidates Edwin Poots and Sir. Jeffrey Donaldson on live radio on Thursday morning.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 10:29 am
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 10:30 am

To 'empty chair' someone is to direct pertinent questions to a particular person who has declined a request to be interviewed.

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"Let's just hear the public pronouncement from Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Edwin Poots as to whether they will implement an Irish Language Act before the Northern Ireland Protocol is changed, if it is ever to be changed."

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The decision to 'empty chair' both candidates caught experienced political contributor and former DUP special adviser, Tim Cairns, off guard as he stepped in to fill the silence but Mr. Nolan interrupted him to clarify what it was he was doing.

Ten seconds of silence followed.

"Let's hear Edwin Poots' strategy towards the LGBT in Northern Ireland and whether Mr. Poots regrets some of his comments in the past."

Another ten seconds of dead air followed.

Pictured left to right, Sir. Jeffrey Donaldson, Stephen Nolan and Edwin Poots.

"Can Mr. Poots explain what the difference is between the judicial review concerning the Northern Ireland Protocol being brought by Jim Allister and the judicial review he announced a few day ago?"

Again, more dead air.

"Given the fact he has been a minister implementing some of the border post mechanisms, can he explain why he didn't seek a judicial review in January and just now?

"There's that huge vacuum - what is it the DUP worried about the public understanding around this?"

The DUP will decide whether the new leader of the party will be Edwin Poots or Sir Jeffrey Donaldson on Friday May 14.


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