Long’s donors petition attracts over 1,000 signatures in first day

A petition launched by Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA calling for an immediate end to political donor secrecy here has attracted over 1,000 signatures in the first 24 hours after being launched.

The move came after Secretary of State James Brokenshire recently announced a consultation into the transparency of political donors, writing to parties to seek their views on ending the local exemption keeping donors secret, unlike across the rest of the UK.

However, Mrs Long said Mr Brokenshire could act now and make the change, which thanks to legislation she secured in Westminster, would see anyone donating £7,500 or over in a single payment to a party since January 2014 revealed publicly.

“Thanks to that legislation, the Secretary of State can remove the exemption whenever he chooses. He does not need the agreement of political parties to do so.

“Thanks to the RHI scandal and various other allegations of corruption and cronyism, the public desire for openness and transparency has never been higher, which is evidenced by the number of signatures my petition has already received.

“It is vital the Secretary of State listens to the public and not just political parties. We have a real opportunity to end political donor secrecy in Northern Ireland once and for all, ensuring all parties are open and accountable to the public, and we can see if anyone is influencing them.

“People deserve better. Only a full, immediate commitment to openness and transparency will start the process of restoring trust and confidence in our political institutions, and as such I encourage everyone to sign the petition, and urge their friends and family to do likewise.”

Naomi Long’s petition is available here
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