DUP denies it put forward Dublin donor for peerage

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The DUP has denied a claim that the person who it unsuccessfully attempted to put into the House of Lords last month is a Dublin businessman who has been a major donor to the party.

A DUP member told the News Letter that the figure — whose identity has not been revealed — had been put forward for a peerage.

Last month it emerged that the House of Lords Appointments Commission had rejected the DUP’s nominee.

A reason was not given.

One reason possible for rejection can be if major party donors are proposed.

At the time the party had denied speculation that the individual in question was former South Antrim MP William McCrea.

In a brief statement last night, the DUP said: “The party does not comment on these matters but [the claim] is wrong on every count”.

It is not the first time that the DUP has been linked to senior Dublin business figures. In the 2005 General Election campaign, Peter and Iris Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson were flown from Belfast to Dublin in an unnamed Dublin businessman’s private jet.

The UUP used the event to which they were flown in an attempt to embarrass the DUP, but at the time Mr Robinson defended it, saying that they had met with “a who’s who of business in the Irish Republic, a lot of them with international links”,