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Joan 'still welcome' on TV3 despite Vincent sexism jibe

LABOUR'S Joan Burton is expected to be panellist on Vincent Browne's TV3 programme again despite allegations he verged on sexism.

The Dublin TD is understood to be surprised by the attention given to her remarks about the veteran broadcaster after they clashed last week.

However, sources at TV3 say that they don't envisage "a major problem" with her appearing on Tonight with Vincent Browne during the election campaign.

"If anything it would make for fascinating television," said a source who added that "the whole thing has been blown out of proportion".

Over the weekend, Burton was reported as saying that Browne interview technique was "verging on sexism".

"He was very, very bullying and hectoring," she said.

The comments, made in the wake of the Sky Sports sexism row, sparked huge controversy.

Asked about her comments at a Labour party event yesterday Ms Burton would only say: "Vincent is Vincent and I am me. He's a broadcaster I respect but when a broadcaster is asking hard questions he has to give people the time and space to respond."

When contacted early today, the finance spokeswoman was canvassing commuters and unable to speak on the issue.

Mr Browne has reacted by simply saying that he is "surprised", while TV3 said it had no comment to make.

The controversy has arisen out of a heated appearance by Ms Burton on the show last Monday.

She sparred with the presenter and fellow guest MEP Joe Higgins whom she felt was allowed more air time.

In a weekend interview, she is reported as saying: "The whole attitude was derogatory towards me and I felt that he would not have spoken to a man in that fashion."

Asked whether she thought Browne was sexist, she replied: "I think so, I think he was really verging on it."

The row comes as RTE prepare to take on Browne's late-night current affairs slot this week, with a programme called The Eleventh Hour hosted by Prime Time's Keelin Shanley.

Browne is a bully, See P15