A former Sinn Féin MLA has called on the BBC to disclose details of derogatory comments made against her by staff working on programmes headed by Stephen Nolan.
Martina Anderson was among a number of politicians said to have been the subject of disparaging messages made by BBC workers, but not Nolan himself.
It follows revelations by this paper, that the broadcaster had sent sexually explicit photos to his colleagues of Stephen Bear, a reality television star now in prison on “revenge porn” offences.
The details had emerged as part of a wider investigation into Nolan’s programmes on Radio Ulster, BBC 5 Live and Nolan Live on television.
Messages circulated among the Nolan team showed that there were several derogatory comments made about politicians such as Ms Anderson, Arlene Foster when she was first minister and Alex Attwood.
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Representing Ms Anderson, a letter from Ó Muirigh Solicitors stated: “We have written to the BBC to ask for a copy of all personal data relating to our client contained within material held by the BBC in relation to its investigation into the Nolan Show as referenced in The Irish News article.”
Making the request under the General Data Protection Act (GDPR), the letter adds: “On receipt of any material from the BBC we will advise our client further in relation to any possible legal remedies that she may have arising from this matter.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “We will respond to any data subject access request in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 as these apply to the BBC.”
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A former IRA prisoner convicted for conspiring to cause explosions in England, Ms Anderson was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and went on to hold several high-profile positions in politics.
This included serving as an MEP, a junior Stormont minister and as an MLA for the Foyle constituency.
Her time as an MLA ended in 2021 when Sinn Féin decided she would not be running again following a party review.
While accepting the decision, Ms Anderson’s family hit out at the time at what they saw as a betrayal by Sinn Féin after a long political career and many years spent in prison.
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