Dickson: McCausland will be judged in the court of public opinion

Alliance Social Development spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has said that the public will judge whether the Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland misled the Assembly despite the DUP vetoing an Assembly vote on the matter. The DUP submitted a petition of concern to the debate on Monday.

The DSD Committee found that the Minister misled the Assembly when he wrote to the Committee claiming that he had met the Glass and Glazing Federation over a double glazing contract when he had actually only met Turkington Holdings. Mr Dickson, along with the UUP, SDLP, TUV and Sinn Fein voted for the report, but the DUP voted against it. Mr Dickson supported the inclusion of a minority report which allowed DUP members a blank page to comment on the final report.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I am disgusted by the DUP’s decision to veto this Committee report. They may claim that there has been a political witch hunt against their Minister, but I doubt there could be any conspiracy between political parties including Alliance, TUV and Sinn Fein.

“On the of weight the evidence considered, and because the Committee simply did not believe that the Minister could display such a level of incompetence, we found that his statement about who he thought he had met was deliberately misleading.Given the overwhelming evidence that the meeting was with Turkington’s, to ask the Committee to accept that the Minister believed otherwise is insulting to Members’ intelligence, to the Assembly, and to the public.

“Despite the anti-democratic actions of the DUP in the Assembly, Nelson McCausland will be judged in the court of public opinion.

“If any other Minister faced similar allegations, they would have resigned months ago. McCausland’s actions are now in danger of causing serious damage to his office. His position is no longer tenable – he must go now.

“The actions of the Minister and his party have deeper implications for public trust in the political institutions and the DUP. The decision by the DUP to veto this motion is also causing further damage to the reputation of Turkington Holdings.

“The report’s findings, and the DUP’s concerted efforts to suppress them, demonstrate the need for an urgent reboot of these institutions.”


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