Steven Agnew MLA

Secretary of State must move on political donation transparency

Monday 12 June 2017

The Secretary of State can demonstrate impartiality and a commitment to transparency and accountability by compelling all local parties to publish donation details ahead of any DUP/Conservative Westminster arrangement.  

That’s according to Steven Agnew as the fallout from a hung parliament continues.

The Green Party leader said:

“The people of Northern Ireland deserve to know who is funding political parties here. It’s time for the Secretary of State to compel the parties to supply donation details – confidence and trust in politics demands it.  

“The people of Northern Ireland have returned MPs which represent two parties which steadfastly refuse to publish details of their financial backers.

“The DUP is the only Northern Ireland party sitting in Westminster and so has the dubious honour as the only party side-stepping transparency and accountability.

“If the ten DUP MPs are to play a role in the future government, we need to know who fills their coffers and whose interests may therefore come into play.

“We’ve had an eyebrow raising situation where Arlene Foster refused to disclose details of a Brexit related £425,622 donation from the Constitutional Research Council.”

 The North Down MLA continued:

“The Green Party is the only Northern Irish party to publish details of political donations over £500.

“There have been commitments on transparency from all the local parties, but none has moved to voluntarily publish donations over £500.   

“If the DUP are to be a party of influence in Westminster, they must show regard for transparency.

“Indeed, the Secretary of State has the power to compel details of donations to be published at the stroke of a pen.

“If he is a truly independent figure, James Brokenshire should have no hesitation in helping people to understand who pulls the strings behind the scenes of Northern Ireland politics.”    

ENDS

Sinead McIvor

07701 302 498