Castledawson to host BBC The View election debate special

Mark Carruthers presenter of BBC Northern Ireland's The View
Mark Carruthers presenter of BBC Northern Ireland's The View

The political spotlight will fall on Castledawson on Thursday night, as the deputy leaders of Northern Ireland’s main political parties will take part in a televised debate.

The View, BBC Northern Ireland’s political magazine show will be broadcast from Moyola Precision Engineering, the first in a series of shows in the run-up to the May 5, Assembly election.

I’m delighted that we’re kicking off our coverage with a deputy leaders debate that gets us out of the studio and right into the heart of Northern Ireland

Mark Carruthers

The special hour long debate - which will be screened on BBC 1 at 10.35pm will involve the deputy leaders of the DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, UUP and Alliance parties.

An invited audience will be made up of opinion formers, key figures from industry, health and education, who will get the chance to question the parties on issues that have an impact across all of Northern Ireland.

It is expected that recent controversies surrounding abortion, cuts to the welfare budget and dealing with the past, will feature during the discussion.

Closer to home, questions are expected to be raised over the failure to deliver the community training college at Desertcreat.

Presenter of The View, Mark Carruthers said: “Election time is always packed full of high drama and fascinating debate and discussion and I’m delighted that The View will once again be right at the centre of BBC Northern Ireland’s election coverage.

“I’m delighted that we’re kicking off our coverage with a deputy leaders debate that gets us out of the studio and right into the heart of Northern Ireland – and it’ll be very revealing to see how the politicians handle questions from members of the public. As a self-confessed political junkie I can’t wait.”