ALLIANCE Leader David Ford has welcomed the announcement by Minister of State John Spellar today on efforts to clean up political party funding in Northern Ireland.
Mr Ford, who expects to discuss the matter with the Minster shortly, stated:
“Mr Spellar has agreed to discuss our proposals for parallel legislation on party funding in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
“There is a real need to improve accountability in these matters. Alliance recognises that certain parties have legitimate interests across the Irish border. I have no problems with money legitimately raised anywhere in these islands being legitimately spent anywhere in these islands.
“Parties which operate on both sides of the border should have to declare their fundraising to the relevant authorities, but once they have done this they should be able to move the money as they see fit for legitimate purposes.
“However, people in Ireland – north and south – need the same protection as people in England, Scotland and Wales. I raised the funding issue with both the British and Irish a few months ago, and will continue to push for more action.
“The same regime relating to party donations should operate throughout these islands.”