RHI: DUP MLA accuses BBC of 'regime change'

DUP Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale

A DUP assembly member has accused the BBC of having "caused regime change" through its coverage of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal.

Brenda Hale claimed the broadcaster was focusing on Arlene Foster because of her "strong values" and the DUP leader's "ability to stand up to" BBC presenter Stephen Nolan and Sinn Féin.

In a Facebook post, the Lagan Valley MLA said: "This has to be the first time in the history of democracy that a Public Service Broadcaster (Biased BBC) has caused regime change.

"The relentless attack on Mrs Foster which was instigated by Nolan had nothing to do with the RHI, it was because of her strong values and her ability to stand up to him and Sinn Féin.

"All veterans should bear in mind that Mrs Foster steadfastly refused to fund Legacy Inquests into Army/RUC shootings unless the killings by SF/PIRA were given equal scrutiny.

"This is why the Shinners hated her and wanted rid of her. We all owe her our support in the weeks ahead."

Responding to the online message, Mr Nolan told the News Letter his programme's RHI coverage was firmly in the public interest.

"My role at the BBC is about getting at the facts and giving people their say on issues affecting their everyday lives," he said.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We remain satisfied that the design, operation and potential cost of the RHI scheme raised issues of legitimate public interest.

"Everything that we have done has been based on the BBC's core editorial principles of fairness, accuracy and impartiality."

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