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Opportunity for transparency on political donations missed -Ford

July 3, 2017 5:20 PM

David FordAlliance MLA David Ford has said the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, has missed an important opportunity to introduce transparency around political donations.

David Ford said: "At the start of this round of political negotiations, the Alliance Party Leader Naomi Long presented the Secretary of State with a letter calling for him to allow for the publication of political donations from 1 January 2014. Doing so would remove the cynicism and genuine concern around the source of donations to political parties.

"Today the Secretary of State bottled this important decision and let down the people of Northern Ireland who have the right to know who funds each political party. We have seen the recent, but reluctant, revelations about huge sums coming to the DUP to promote Brexit in the run up to the referendum. What other shady financial arrangements have political parties entered into?

"Not backdating the publication of donations only feeds the cynicism felt by many people. His comments about consulting with the political parties on publishing donations is meaningless. Any party with nothing to hide can voluntarily publish donations, as the Alliance Party already does. No party should be afraid of transparency in how they are funded."