A journalists’ union has criticised the Secretary of State for treating the media with “apparent contempt” at a key moment in the Stormont talks.
Yesterday, Karen Bradley held a joint press conference with Tanaiste Simon Coveney. She spoke for a minute and refused to take questions, while Mr Coveney spoke for 10 and took questions.
Leaders of political parties also engaged with journalists waiting outside the talks at Stormont House.
Several local journalists expressed frustration with Ms Bradley’s performance.
In a reference to the High Court’s overturning of search warrants in relation to the Loughinisland documentary this week, the National Union of Journalists’ Belfast secretary Ciaran O Maolain said Ms Bradley’s reluctance to engage was “especially disgraceful in a week that has brought to the fore issues around freedom of information and the role of the media in a democratic society”.
He added: “We all want to see progress in politics, and that requires informed debate, transparency and honesty on all sides. For a government minister to treat journalists with apparent contempt, refusing to take a single question when so many important issues are being discussed, does nothing to advance the political process.”