DUP MP Ian Paisley has accused the BBC of “ignoring paedophiles” before the broadcaster runs an investigation into the activities of so-called paedophile hunters in Northern Ireland.
The report about the vigilante groups is to be screened on Tuesday evening on BBC1 NI.
However, on Tuesday morning Mr Paisley hit out at the BBC for “going after” paedophile hunters rather than paedophiles.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said he had “no comment” to make on the actions of the groups.
Responding to a Steven Nolan tweet about his interview with a self-proclaimed paedophile hunter, Mr Paisley tweeted: “Why does the BBC not go after paedophiles? I suppose they have special rights.”
Replying to a Belfast Telegraph article about the BBC investigation, Mr Paisley tweeted: “When will BBC take on the paedophiles?”
When will BBC take on the paedophiles ? https://t.co/46Ng53BS11
— Ian Paisley MP (@ianpaisleymp) February 13, 2018
When asked by the Belfast Telegraph to elaborate on his comments, Mr Paisley said: “I am just posing the question ‘when are the BBC going to pursue the paedophiles rather the paedophile hunters?’.”
On whether he condoned the actions of the so-called paedophile hunter groups operating in Northern Ireland, the senior DUP figure said: “I have no comment on that, I am just asking the question. I just think it is interesting the BBC has spent a lot of resource and have done a programme on paedophile hunters. “
Several hunter groups operating in Northern Ireland have shot live video footage of them confronting people they claim are paedophiles.
The PSNI has appealed to the groups to report any evidence they have of crimes to the police rather than taking it upon themselves to confront individuals.
A BBC spokesperson said: “We are satisfied that this investigation has dealt with important issues of public interest. We have investigated many cases of abusers which are also in the public interest and will continue to do so.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital