Long welcomes DUP U-turn on political donations

Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long has welcomed the DUP’s U-turn on donations, after the party announced it would finally support the reform of the political donations system in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Long said the DUP’s new support for the publication of donations, which Alliance has done voluntarily for some time, was a good move which could see a more transparent form of politics here. However, she said it was a move the party had promised before.

“People want to see clean politics. That’s why Alliance voluntarily publishes our donor information and why I successfully made an amendment to the NI Bill while an MP to see large scale donors published whenever the Secretary of State sees fit to lift the exemption.

“However, I would reserve my judgement on the DUP’s announcement until we see just how committed they are to this new policy of theirs. After all, in 2014 Peter Robinson pledged to reveal his party’s donors but still we wait. Only a few months ago, DUP Councillors on Ards and North Down Council voted against a proposal by my colleague Andrew Muir for the anonymity around individuals making large donations to be ended. That was an incredibly disappointing move by the DUP, once again showing their opposition to openness and transparency in politics.

“If we are to improve the levels of trust and confidence in the political system then we need to let the public know who is funding our political parties. If we do not lift the veil of secrecy, then suspicion and mistrust will only fester amongst the public.”

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