The finding was published in the first of three reports as part of the DSD Committee’s on-going investigation into the Minister’s conduct and comes after he claimed he held a meeting with a body representing the double glazing industry – the Glass and Glazing Federation – when he had actually only met local firm Turkington Holdings.
Stewart Dickson MLA said: “It is now beyond doubt that the Minister deliberately misled the Committee. This is a very serious matter and it is an extremely disappointing conclusion.
“While we are only one third into a full investigation of the Minister’s conduct it is imperative that he apologies for his actions. The Social Development Committee has spent a considerable amount of time and energy in carrying out the first phase of the inquiry into the allegations made by Spotlight and it will be interesting to see what else is revealed as we continue our inquiry.
“I did not believe the Minister’s claim that he only ‘inadvertently misinformed’ the Committee – a claim that has now been proven completely false. The Glass and Glazing Federation made it very clear that there could be no misunderstanding that Turkington Holdings were not representing them at the meeting.
“Until he apologises, a dark cloud of suspicion will continue to hang over the Minister and his Department.”