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Questions remain over Council involvement in DUP fundraiser

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said two local Councils involved in the latest DUP financial scandal now have questions to answer.

Stewart Dickson, MLA for East Antrim, was speaking after it was confirmed DUP MP Ian Paisley would be forced to pay back money acquired from two local government authorities for a dinner which has now been ruled as a DUP fundraiser.

He said: “Back in 2017 I highlighted how it was unacceptable for ratepayers’ money to be used to fund a political party and pushed for an investigation to take place.

“Whether they like it or not, both Mid and East Antrim and Causeway Coast and Glens Council have compromised themselves, with questions remaining over why they sought to invest in this dinner when it was clear who the organiser was.

“Local Government must hold itself to the highest standards and hold the trust of the local community it is there to serve. What was sold as a simple business dinner was never only that.”

North Antrim representative, Councillor Patricia O’Lynn added: “This has been a series of catastrophic failures which calls into question the very decision making process at the heart of Council and we need to know how and why it was sold to Councillors as it was. With serious questions to answer our Alliance Group will be raising this directly with the Chief Executive and seeking answers from Council as a whole.”