People should question parties on donor stances, says McAllister

Potential voters should question parties on their stance on revealing political donors, Alliance’s Nuala McAllister has said.

The North Belfast candidate said several parties had unclear positions on the matter, leaving to confusion among the electorate on their various stances. Alliance already publishes donors voluntarily in line with UK legislation, including outside of election time.

Thanks to legislation Alliance Leader Naomi Long secured in Westminster, anyone donating £7,500 or over in a single payment to a local party since January 2014 will be revealed publicly when the Secretary of State lifts the exemption and brings Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.

A recent petition launched by Mrs Long calling for that to happen attracted over 1,500 signatures in a day after being launched.

“Alliance has led the way on donor transparency, voluntarily publishing our donors in line with UK law. We have had several other parties talk before about supporting donor transparency but their actions have not matched their pledges. The UUP has recently talked about revealing its donors but only last month, its Councillors on Belfast City Council voted against doing just that. Prior to last May’s election, the DUP also made a commitment to do similar but we are still waiting.

“Thanks to the RHI scandal and various other allegations of corruption and cronyism, the public desire for openness and transparency in politics has never been higher. People deserve better government – that’s why they need to question candidates on their doorstep asking for their vote whether they support full donor transparency and if so, why their party hasn’t done anything practical about it yet.

“We have a real opportunity to make a change for good and end political donor secrecy in Northern Ireland once and for all. By following Alliance’s lead, we can ensure all parties are open and accountable to the public, the way they should be.”

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