Other parties can and should deliver on donation promises, says Long

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said other political parties “can and should deliver on promises” after details of political donations were once again unable to be published.

The Electoral Commission said it was extremely disappointed it was unable to reveal the details due to the UK Government not having made the necessary legislation. Whilst sharing their criticism of the Government on the issue, Mrs Long said parties here could take the step themselves and release details of their donations voluntarily, as Alliance already does.

The Secretary of State consulted earlier this year on the issue, stating donations would be published but only from July 1, 2017. This is despite Mrs Long previously changing legislation at Westminster which meant the publication could be backdated to January 2014.

“The Secretary of State has repeatedly failed to deliver on transparency around large political donations, refusing to backdate the publication date to the earliest point allowed in legislation, January 2014, and by constantly dragging his heels about ending secrecy at all.

“However, local parties cannot hide behind his tardiness – they can start to voluntarily publish immediately, just as Alliance and the Green Party have done for years, and show they are genuinely committed to transparency.

“The Electoral Commission, and indeed many others, are right to be extremely disappointed by the continuing lack of transparency in local politics. Once again, the public have been given empty promises by the majority of political parties in Northern Ireland. Once again, they are denied the same level of scrutiny of major party donors other UK voters enjoy.”

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