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‘Embarrassed’ Paisley expresses ‘profound apology’ over luxury holidays paid for by foreign government

Ian Paisley has offered a “profound apology” for conduct which led to a finding of “serious misconduct” over his paid advocacy for a foreign government which had lavished luxury holidays worth more than £50,000 on him and his family.

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Ian Paisley told foreign government official he could arrange oil deals ‘very quickly’

Ian Paisley claimed to a Sri Lankan government employee that he had “two significant arrangements with national oil suppliers in either Oman or Nigeria”.

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North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley

Heavy Commons suspension looming for Ian Paisley over lobbying for foreign government which gave him undeclared lavish gifts

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr is likely to be suspended from the House of Commons after a Parliamentary watchdog substantiated allegations that he broke Parliamentary rules by lobbying for a foreign government which gave him valuable gifts.

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Sinn Fein MPs were again absent from the Commons chamber last night as MPs voted on key Brexit legislation

SF bullish after government’s key Brexit votes secured by its absent MPs

Sinn Fein has dismissed myriad calls for it to even temporarily take its seats in Westminster after the first Commons votes on Brexit where its seven MPs could have defeated the government if they had showed up to vote.

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NI Water used wrong law to implement hosepipe ban and is threatening criminal records for nonexistent ‘crimes’

The sweeping hosepipe ban implemented 10 days ago by Northern Ireland’s state-owned water company does not have legal authority, the News Letter can reveal.

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Stormont House in Belfast.

Shrunken NIO goes on big recruitment drive

The Northern Ireland Office is going on a hiring spree, reversing years of declining staff numbers amid growing pressure for it to step in and take more decisions about issues which are nominally devolved but which cannot be taken without a Stormont Executive.

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Karen Bradley addressing MPs in the Commons on Monday night as they debated the Stormont budget

Bradley wanted judges to let civil servants act as ministers

The secretary of state has expressed disappointment at the ruling of three senior Belfast judges’ which ends the emerging situation where unelected civil servants were taking controversial decisions about hundreds of millions of pounds of public money.

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DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds welcomed commitments to the Union contained in the proposals

Cautious DUP welcome for Chequers Brexit proposal

The DUP has not joined in the chorus of Brexiteer denunciation of the Cabinet’s Chequers agreement, in what may hint at a willingess to accept much closer ties with the EU than the party would like in exchange for no border in the Irish Sea.

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Secretary of state Karen Bradley

Judgment leaves Northern Ireland ungovernable without ministers

After 491 days without any democratic control of Northern Ireland civil servants, the province’s highest court has delivered a judgment which brings to an end increasingly political decisions by unelected bureaucrats.

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Sam McBride: Karen Bradley desperate to avoid taking charge of Stormont

It is indicative of the absurd situation in which Northern Ireland finds itself that it was even necessary for senior judges to spell out the fundamentally undemocratic nature of unfettered civil service rule where mandarins can act as ministers with no opportunity for the public to vote them out.

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Auditors found a massive reduction in RHI boiler use

RHI boilers running far less after subsidies slashed

There has been a huge drop in the number of hours which RHI boilers are being run since the retrospective cut in subsidies, auditors have found.

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David Mark, pictured at the Balmoral Show in 2015, and his wife claimed �9,236 in a 16-month period

Moy Park manager David Mark has RHI boiler at his home

Senior Moy Park manager David Mark’s witness statement reveals that just weeks before cost controls were introduced on the scheme he installed a non-domestic boiler which heats his home.

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The DUP's Lord Morrow and Arlene Foster pictured with former Moy Park CEO  Janet McCollum

Inquiry reveals how huge poultry firm Moy Park cashes in by squeezing farmers

Last week Moy Park farmer Tom Forgrave told the inquiry that while RHI money had gone to farmers it had ultimately benefited the bottom line of Moy Park.

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DUP Spad Andrew Crawford

DUP Spad warned Moy Park of RHI closure, at cost to taxpayers

On February 8, 2016, the public were told that the RHI scheme was closing.

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David Mark spent most of yesterday giving evidence to the RHI Inquiry

Moy Park linked to half a billion pounds of RHI claims

The firm which supplies 30% of all UK chicken knew early on that Stormont’s RHI scheme was open to abuse because it was ultra-lucrative and entirely uncapped, the public inquiry into the cash for ash scandal has been told.

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RHI inquiry: DUP interference in reining in costs was unprecedented, says official

One of Stormont’s most senior civil servants has said that some of the behaviour of senior DUP figures during attempts to rein in and then close the RHI scheme was unprecedented in his experience.

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RHI inquiry: Top civil servant recalls ‘day of complete dismay’

One of the most senior civil servants involved in the attempts to rein in the RHI scheme has rejected suggestions that Stormont only panicked because it realised the bill wasn’t being paid from London.

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McDonald drops SF’s RHI ‘red line’, opening route for Foster’s return

Mary Lou McDonald has made clear that Sinn Fein has dropped its “red line” demand that Arlene Foster cannot be first minister while under investigation by the RHI Inquiry.

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Civil servant Emer Morelli giving evidence at the RHI inquiry

RHI inquiry: ‘Basic’ public administration failures exposed

A member of the inquiry panel investigating the RHI scandal sounded exasperated on Tuesday by yet another case of Stormont civil servants not recording important discussions and decisions.

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Mary Lou McDonald said she would go to the Twelfth

SF leader won’t get Orange invite

The Orange Order has issued a curt response to Mary Lou McDonald’s comments about the murder of Orangemen by the IRA, saying that they do not alter the order’s opposition to meeting Sinn Féin.

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