DUP: We are going to the police over Bryson-SF Nama claims

Maurice Morrow
Maurice Morrow

The chairman of the DUP has confirmed that the party will approach the PSNI over allegations that a top Sinn Fein figure coached loyalist Jamie Bryson over his appearance at a probe into the Nama scandal.

Allegations were reported in the Irish News that Sinn Feim MLA Daithi McKay, then the chairman of the Stormont committee which was investigating claims of impropriety linked to the vast Nama property deal, had set up a backchannel to the localist protestor before his public appearance last year.

Mr Bryson was then coached on what to say when he was giving evidence, it was claimed.

Mr Bryson denies that Sinn Fein helped to shape his evidence in any way, and Sinn Fein this morning told the BBC it will “urgently and robustly” pursue the claims.

Sammy Wilson, DUP MP for East Antrim, had been the first DUP member to send a comment to the News Letter this morning, in which he said he believed “the police should be investigating this issue and am considering how that can best be done”.

Later in the morning, DUP chairman Lord Morrow wrote: “In light of major allegations that have come into the public domain today we intend to refer these to the relevant Assembly authorities.

“As chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party I will also be referring the matter to the PSNI for investigation.

“The allegations, if proven, are of a most serious and disturbing nature and must be thoroughly investigated to bring forward the full factual situation of what occurred during this DFP (Department of Finance and Personnel) Committee inquiry.

“For some time, the Democratic Unionist Party has had concerns about the nature of the inquiry, how it was conducted and the way witnesses from the party, including the then First Minister were treated.”

He added: “The chair of the Finance Committee, Ms Emma Little Pengelly MLA, will be taking these matters up with the committee at the earliest possible opportunity and it is likely that committee will also need to examine these matters in great detail.

“The Assembly processes and the integrity of the Assembly and of politicians have been called into question...

“If proven, those responsible, regardless of their position, must face the full consequences of their actions.”