NAMA scandal will haunt Stormont ‘until all facts are known’

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt
Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt

The latest revelations about the sale of NAMA`s assets in Northern Ireland calls into question the judgement of those at the very heart of Northern Ireland`s political institutions, UUP leader Mike Nesbitt has said.

“If I did not think I could do better, lead better and be better motivated by the desire to serve the public good, my reaction would be to wrap up the devolution experiment - but I do not believe this is as good as it gets and better is possible,” said Mr Nesbitt.

“As to Sammy Wilson’s dismissal of journalism, isn’t he the man who privately and without consultation refused to update Northern Ireland’s laws of defamation, making it easier to muzzle the media here than in Great Britain? What more do you need to know? Nothing about the DUP’s motivation but everything about what they actually did.

“The ordinary man on the street already has a dim view of Northern Ireland politics. The latest revelations in tonight’s Spotlight programme will do nothing to enhance that view. The whiff of foul play and skulduggery will continue to haunt the body politic at Stormont until all the facts are known about the NAMA scandal and the police investigation is completed.

“It also calls into question the judgement of those at the very heart of Northern Ireland’s political institutions. Some individuals have come forward to shed some light on this dark corner of Northern Ireland society, it’s now time for others to step up and do the same. It’s not a time for bluster or stonewalling, but straight answers.

“I will be asking for the Chief Constable for an update on the position of the police investigation into these allegations.”

And, also speaking after the BBC Spotlight programme, TUV leader Jim Allister said: “After tonight’s programme Peter Robinson’s “pillar of the establishment”, Frank Cushinan, is looking rather vulnerable.

“The thread of leading DUP ministers which runs through this story leaves the DUP with some explaining to do. The Cushinan/Coulter/DUP nexus was quite striking. The political backup that was on hand had the appearance of being a key part of the manoeuvrings.”

Mr Allister added: “As a leading minister throughout this time and now as DUP leader Arlene Foster needs to explain why her ministerial colleagues Peter Robinson and Sammy Wilson allowed themselves to be so involved in the NAMA/PIMCO/Cerberus saga.

“Moreover, what did she discover about these matters as Finance minister?”

Also see: BBC records Cushnahan admitting he was due NAMA cash