Farry gives cautious welcome to McGuinness admission

Alliance MLA Stephen Farry has given a cautious welcome to the deputy First Minister’s admittance that some accusations of a lack of Executive transparency may be true.

Dr Farry was speaking after challenging Martin McGuinness in the Assembly today following a number of recent examples of secretive behaviour by the Executive Office. They include several non-responses by Ministers to Ministerial debates and not releasing a report on the possible effects of Brexit until the day after polling day.

In reply, Mr McGuinness said “that is a whole range of criticisms, all of which may have merits or not… some of the criticisms I accept, some I do not. We will try to do something about the criticisms that I accept”.

Dr Farry said there was a real challenge for the Executive to now follow through and change their approach to become more open.

“In the past few months, we have seen a number of breaches of the universally accepted standards of good governance by the Executive. It was therefore welcome to hear the deputy First Minister begin to acknowledge that.

“However, he did not specify exactly which criticisms he was willing to accept. I would encourage him to do just that, and further, follow through to change the Executive’s approach so we no longer have the rapidly growing culture of secrecy currently enveloping it.”

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