Farry disappointed at weak Assembly response to NAMA scandal

Alliance Finance spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has expressed disappointment the Assembly has failed to unite to call for an investigation into allegations of poor governance around Nama’s local portfolio.

He was speaking after the Assembly debated the NAMA scandal for the first time and the DUP backed a Sinn Fein amendment which only called for a “weak and dilute” response.

“This issue is perhaps the most extreme example of the lack of openness and transparency from some of those entrusted with ministerial responsibility. Yet disappointingly today the Assembly was unable to agree a strong, coherent and united response.

“Full respect must be given to the integrity of the various ongoing criminal investigations currently across a number of jurisdictions. However, this is a much broader issue than just criminal accountability. The crucial issues of transparency and standards of governance are at the forefront of regaining public confidence in politics.

“Alliance is not convinced the Assembly structures can be robust enough to shine a strong light on this matter. History has shown many MLAs are not prepared to show any criticism of those from their own party. Therefore, either public inquiries both north and south or one overall, cross-border independent inquiry is the best way of fully ensuring the whole truth is uncovered.

“Conscious of the dangers from a weak and divided response across the different political parties, Alliance Leader David Ford recently wrote to other main party leaders to convene a meeting to discuss the Nama situation in order to explore the potential for an agreed and robust way forward.”

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