Dickson – Transparency on political donations needed following Red Sky affair

Alliance Social Development spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has said that the final report of the Assembly Committee investigation into the BBC Spotlight allegations, has vindicated the Committee’s work. It found that Nelson McCausland had acted inappropriately by seeking to extend a Housing Executive contract with the maintenance company Red Sky.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “It is clear from the conclusion of the Committee Report that Nelson McCausland acted inappropriately as Minister and made decisions that were in the interests of the DUP rather than the taxpayer and social housing tenants.

“It has vindicated the work of the Social Development Committee and was supported by all parties, except the DUP. There can be no valid argument for claims of a witch hunt when Alliance, SDLP, TUV, UUP and Sinn Fein politicians have commended this Report.

“The Assembly Committee has been investigating this story for nearly two years, but time and time again, the DUP refused to fully co-operate. Their members on the Committee also tried their hardest to disrupt and delay its investigation. After months of meetings, it is clear that denial and refusal to do the right thing has been the underlining story of this affair.

“This entire debacle has further discredited politics in the eyes of the public and left a dark cloud of suspicion hanging over the DUP.

“The only person to come out of this story with any dignity is Jenny Palmer, who I must thank for her brave, forthright and honest evidence to the Committee. Ms Palmer’s integrity stands in stark contrast to others in her party.

“If we are to restore public trust in politics then there must be more transparency on political donations and I would urge the Secretary of State to deliver this within the first 100 days of this Parliament. There must also be a review of the Ministerial Code of Conduct to ensure that appropriate measures can be taken in instances where rules have been broken, and a robust, meaningful and independent investigation mechanism put in place.”


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