Martina Anderson was reported to be among a number of politicians said to have been the subject of disparaging remarks made by BBC staff.
A lawyer representing Ms Anderson, who was ousted in an internal bloodless coup as Sinn Fein’s Foyle MLA in May 2021, has written to the corporation to request a copy of all personal data relating to their client.
It follows reports in The Irish News this week.
The letter from solicitor Padraig Ó Muirigh asked for all relevant information held by the BBC in relation to its investigation into the Nolan Show to be handed over under the Data Protection Act 2018.
“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,” it states.
Nolan himself is not accused of sending inappropriate messages about politicians.
But it has been claimed that offensive messages about a number of political representatives were circulated among team members.
The subject access request follows reports that the BBC took “appropriate action” after the broadcaster sent sexually explicit photos of a reality TV star, who is currently behind bars for “revenge porn” offences, to colleagues.
Stephen Bear had appeared on an episode of Nolan Live, which is co-produced by Nolan’s company Third Street Studios, in 2016.
The details emerged as part of a wider investigation into Nolan’s radio programmes on Radio Ulster and BBC 5 Live as well as the TV show.
It is unclear if the BBC intends to hand over the information which has been requested.
“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,” a corporation spokesperson said.
Nolan, who is one of the BBC’s highest earners, was back on the airwaves this morning, making no mention of the reports, which appeared in several national publications and on the BBC NI website.
He has not responded to questions and remained tight-lipped about the story.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell previously warned that “radio silence just won’t cut it” as he insisted the “significant multi-layered issues… deserve a full response from the BBC”.
“Many people will obviously question the culture which appears to be prevalent within the programme where its presenter has sent unwanted sexual images to staff members,” he added.
The head of BBC Northern Ireland, Adam Smyth, defended the corporation’s handling of complaints after it confirmed “appropriate action” was taken following an internal investigation in 2018 which reportedly found there was a case to answer.
It has been reported that at least one former staff member made a formal complaint of bullying against Nolan which was not upheld as other team members found the radio show good to work on.
Mr Smyth said “there are important considerations of fairness and confidentiality involved in the handling of any workplace related complaint”.
“We take these obligations seriously — and in the interests of everyone involved,” he added.
“It is for these reasons that we cannot comment on the specifics of any individual case, who/what it may have involved or its outcome.”Tags: