Long says independent investigation into Finance Committee allegations needed

Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long has said only an independent investigation into today’s revelations surrounding the Stormont Finance Committee’s investigation into Nama will restore public confidence.

East Belfast MLA Mrs Long was speaking following the resignation of Sinn Fein’s Daithi McKay after it was claimed Sinn Fein members ‘coached’ loyalist Jamie Bryson via social media before his appearance at the Committee in relation to the Nama scandal.

She said the “most important” part of the episode was yet another blow to the public’s view on local politics.

“Alliance had previously stated our worries over the potential for Mr Bryson’s evidence to be politically motivated or otherwise unreliable. The time between the revelations coming to light and Mr McKay’s resignation would indicate that was indeed the case.

“I find it incredibly difficult to imagine a senior member of Sinn Fein such as Mr McKay would have gone on a ‘solo run’ as the party are claiming, going by my experience of interacting with the party over many years. That explanation may have satisfied the deputy First Minister but the wider Assembly and more importantly, the general public, may not be content with it.

“There are other questions which also need asked, such as if the other Sinn Fein members named in the social media messages printed in the media today had any involvement in this episode. It’s right those questions are asked and it’s right an independent investigation is held into this entire matter in order to attempt and restore public confidence in politics.”

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