Stormont’s top spin doctor out of a job after six months

David Gordon addressing the Committee on Standards in Public Life in 2009. Photo: Matt Mackey/
David Gordon addressing the Committee on Standards in Public Life in 2009. Photo: Matt Mackey/
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The Stormont Executive’s chief spin doctor will be out of his £75,000 job within weeks – just a few months after being appointed to the post in controversial circumstances.

David Gordon was the editor of Stephen Nolan’s radio show when he was approached by the first and deputy first ministers with a view to becoming the senior spokesman for the Executive Office (TEO).

When the 51-year-old began work in September, both Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness talked up the significance of the appointment, stressing that it had been a joint decision – and as evidence of a new era for the widely-criticised Stormont administration.

In a statement at the time, Mr Gordon said the move was an opportunity he “simply could not turn down”.

There is an outside chance that a newly appointed first and deputy first minister would reappoint the vastly experience journalist – who started his career at the Larne Times and the Newtownabbey Times – but he does not appear to be holding out much hope.

Writing on his Facebook page on Monday, Mr Gordon said: “Losing my job in a few weeks. But [Manchester] City are up to third and Kylie is single again. Swings and roundabouts.”

In the September statement, Mr Gordon said he was looking forward to the new challenge after “some five and a half very rewarding years with the Nolan Show and BBC”.

He said: “Politics has changed at Stormont with the Fresh Start Agreement and the outcome of May’s Assembly Election. Bread and butter issues will be at the forefront of the next five years and the Executive has vital work to do improving and protecting public services.”

The statement went on to say: “I will enjoy getting a different perspective on the interaction between journalists and Government. Journalists have a duty to hold politicians to account and ask the tough questions that need to be asked.

“I’ve always tried to do that. But it is important that Government has space to make its case too.”

When Martin McGuinness stood down as deputy first minister last month – bringing the power sharing arrangements to an end – Mr Gordon posted a video of the Bob Dylan song ‘Everything is Broken’ on Facebook.

Before joining the team at the Nolan Show, he had been the political editor of the Belfast Telegraph.

He later wrote a book entitled The Fall of The House of Paisley, and there has been some speculation that he is considering writing a book based on his experiences behind the scenes at Stormont’s head office.