Michael Long said: “This would appear to be a case which would benefit from independent assessment, in order to provide the maximum accountability to the taxpayer. It is of utmost importance that the public has total confidence in the actions of their elected representatives, and I believe that the best way of doing this is by having outside appraisal of the legal spending involved in this case.
“At the moment, no-one knows how much the Department or the DUP spent on legal fees. While the Minister obviously believed his case was worth pursuing, it was ultimately used to score political points before it was lost.”
“Given that this is not the first time Ministers have gone to court, and that we still don’t know how much previous cases have cost the taxpayer, perhaps now is the time to look at more efficient methods of public accountability.”