New East Antrim MLA lines up for Nolan debate

John Stewart
John Stewart

Newly-elected East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart will take his place at “The Top Table” on BBC One tonight for political debate chaired by Stephen Nolan.

Sitting alongside some of the province’s most senior politicians, the Ulster Unionist was delighted to take part in the new BBC show.

“The Top Table” was filmed yesterday at the Blackstaff studio in Belfast.

The cross-party panel of politicians also included the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson; Dolores Kelly, SDLP; Naomi Long, Alliance and Sinn Fein’s Mairtin O’Muilleoir.

They were tackled by a panel of young people from across Northern Ireland on controversial topics such as Brexit and its aftermath, dealing with the past, the Irish language act and were asked to consider whether or not the voting age should be lowered.

John commented: “We touched on issues that affect young people. It was an interesting discussion. Because there were ten people around the table, you were not allowed to speak for as long as you wanted. To have young people taking part gave the debate a new dimension.”

He admitted: “I was up against political big wigs. People might be thinking who is that John Stewart guy, but we all have to start somewhere.”

A spokesperson for “The Top Table” said: “As you’ll see tonight, it shows that not all young people are not interested in politics. There was a lot of engagement as teenagers tackled the politicians on the big issues. So should we be listening to the younger generation more and should we let more of them have a say in elections?”

“The Top Table” will be screened at 10.40 pm.