DUP needs to clarify if any donors benefited from RHI scheme

Alliance Leader Naomi Long has said the DUP should clarify if any of its main donors were beneficiaries of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme fiasco by revealing a full list of those who donate to the party. She has also called again on James Brokenshire MP, as Secretary of State, to lift the NI exemption on the mandatory publication of donors.

In her previous role as East Belfast MP, Mrs Long secured legislative change so names of single donors of over £7,500 to local parties, will be published in line with UK law. It means whenever the Secretary of State lifts the exemption, any such donation made since January 2014 will be made public. However, that has not yet happened.

“It’s clear between this and other scandals involving the current Executive, the public’s confidence in local politics is at an all-time low, which is quite a feat,” she said.

“One of the crucial questions relating to the RHI scheme is who stood to gain from the flaws in the scheme and the failure to address them at the earliest possible point. There have now been several allegations that parties connected to the DUP have done so, whether connected to elected representatives or special advisors.

“Wider than that, we now need to know if any donors to the party profited from the scheme being kept open.

“The DUP leader said during the Assembly elections that the DUP would publish its list of donors but have still not done so six months later and the Secretary of State has still not lifted the exemption for local parties. While Alliance has led the way by voluntarily publishing our donors, the DUP has not followed that example.

“I am calling on the First Minister to immediately release both the details of all those who benefited from the RHI scheme, including contractors who supplied equipment and fuel, and at the same time, to publish a full list of DUP donors in line with UK law, all of whom will already have been advised of the forthcoming change to donor anonymity here.

“By doing so, she will help answer many legitimate questions the public have around this scandal, and help restore some of the lost confidence in local politics.”

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