Call to scrap 'silly' ban on Sinn Fein

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT's broadcasting ban on the IRA and Sinn Fein is 'silly' and 'politically inept' and should be scrapped immediately, a former senior figure in the Northern Ireland Office said yesterday, writes Rhys Williams.

David Gilliland, director of information during the Seventies and Eighties, told a session at the festival: 'The only sensible thing to do would be drop the ban. You have someone saying something on the screen, but you cannot hear their voice. But you can hear the words spoken by an actor, so you can in effect hear what he has to say. So why not let him speak?'

Speaking during a three-day review of coverage on the province, Mr Gilliland said that if the ban had been mooted during his time at the office, 'I would have told my bosses under no circumstances have anything to do with this nonsense'.