DUP should release list of donors immediately, says Long

Alliance Leader Naomi Long has said the DUP should release its list of donors immediately if it is to be taken seriously.

The party is in talks with the Conservatives about supporting Theresa May’s party in Government. However, Mrs Long said it could not continue its contradictory approach to political donors any longer.

Thanks to legislation Mrs Long secured in Westminster while previously an MP, anyone donating £7,500 or over in a single payment to a local party since January 2014 can be revealed publicly when the Secretary of State lifts the exemption and brings Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.

“The situation in Northern Ireland, where parties can receive huge donations yet not disclose them to the public, ought to have ended many years ago. However, now the DUP are wielding influence over the UK Government, continued secrecy around their finances is completely untenable,” she said.

“The DUP first committed to ending secrecy donor secrecy in May 2014 and restated it in their manifesto in May 2016, yet they still refuse to act to do so on a voluntary basis. They are now also caught up in a controversy around ‘dark money’ they received which was linked to the Brexit campaign.

“The Secretary of State has the power to enact my amendment to the legislation with immediate effect. It is now incumbent on the DUP’s donors to be open to scrutiny without any further delay. Any failure by the Secretary of State to act to deliver maximum transparency will simply add weight to the notion the Government is incapable of acting impartially in respect of their prospective partners.”

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