“The revelations in the Spotlight programme were bad enough, but parties’ attempts to blame the system rather than accept responsibility do even further damage to public confidence in politics. It is vital that the public have confidence in the political process, and that won’t happen unless we have full openness and transparency.
“Alliance has shown our commitment to this with the recent changes to the transparency of political donations achieved by Naomi Long in Westminster.
“The allegations made by the Spotlight programme have raised some serious questions around the rental arrangements for several constituency offices. The parties involved must stop the smoke and mirrors tricks that have been used to hide the truth of who is benefitting from taxpayers’ money.
“I believe we need a full and independent investigation into these claims, carried out in a way that prevents any political party from interfering or preventing the facts from coming out. This is public money, and the public have a right to know how it is being spent.”