Sunday 23 October 2016

BBC's Stephen Nolan furious after commander who led troops into Iraq calls him 'shock jock'

Published 08/07/2016 | 10:06

Food fight: Stephen Nolan of BBC Radio Ulster
Food fight: Stephen Nolan of BBC Radio Ulster

Stephen Nolan has said he is "deepy offended" after a war hero called him a 'shock jock' on his programme while discussing the Chilcot report.

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Belfast-born commander Colonel Tim Collins led the Royal Irish Regiment into Iraq in March, 2003.

He was speaking on the Stephen Nolan show after the long-awaited Iraq Inquiry found that Mr Blair's government presented evidence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) "with a certainty that was not justified" and troops were sent in before all peaceful options had been exhausted.

Presenting a summary of his inquiry's findings, Sir John Chilcot hit out at the "wholly inadequate" planning for the period after the fall of Saddam, which saw British troops involved in a prolonged and bloody occupation.

Colonel Tim Collins told the Belfast Telegraph that the Chilcot report was more candid than he had expected, but that its contents had not surprised him.

On the Nolan show Colonel Collins  was asked about some of the coverage that had featured on the news following the publication of the report.

He highlighted one line that had been reported saying "Tony Blair is one of the worst terrorists in the world".

To which Colonel Collins said: "I know you are a shock jock. But you just have to calm down

"That came from someone who lost someone. Of course he's (Tony Blair) not the worst terrorist in the world. You can think of a hundred more. You can't take what someone who is highly emotional having lost someone in conflict and start bashing them over the head. You can, but I don't think that's the best thing to do."

Nolan responded saying he was "deeply offended" at being called a shock jock.

He said: "Tim I've done a few interviews with you. But when I'm talking about war, I understand as well as you do.

"So do not Sir, suggest I'm doing this in order to be a shock jock. I find it deeply offensive that you've said that, you are wrong and you should not have said it. Now I'll move on. I'm trying to put questions to you that I think are journalistically appropriate, full stop.

"And don't bring this down to some kind of base level because I find it offensive."


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