End your silence on RHI, Sudgen is urged

Claire Sugden had earlier this month described the  controversy as 'devastating', and said allegations of corruption surrounding it made her 'feel sick'
Claire Sugden had earlier this month described the controversy as 'devastating', and said allegations of corruption surrounding it made her 'feel sick'

The justice minister has been challenged to speak out on the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal.

Claire Sugden was urged by the Ulster Unionists to end what they described as “her silence” on the affair.

The UUP’s justice spokesperson Doug Beattie MC MLA: “The silence from the justice minister cannot be justified. At least Sinn Fein have said something even if it only is to demonstrate weakness in the face of the DUP’s gross incompetence which will result in every man, woman and child enduring further cuts to public service funding.

“But the justice minister, who holds a pivotal role in the executive, has said nothing. No statements, no tweets, no Facebook messages. As her colleague, finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir famously said ‘none, zilch, nada, nothing’.”

Mr Beattie continued: “I have huge regard for the justice minister and understand the difficult role she has as an independent MLA – but to have no opinion on the RHI fiasco makes her irrelevant within the Executive and to prop up an Executive with no public confidence makes her part of the problem.”

Ms Sugden has in recent weeks attended the launch of initiatives on domestic violence and raising awareness of counterfeit goods and spoken in favour of pardons for past gay offences.