The daughter of DUP councillor Jenny Palmer last night told of her disgust after not a single DUP MLA spoke in defence of her whistleblower mother during a Stormont debate.
All but a handful of the DUP’s MLAs — at least some of whom were away on other business — voted against an exhaustive 1,000-page Assembly report which vindicated Cllr Palmer’s decision to speak out about the actions of the then Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, and his special adviser, Stephen Brimstone.
Mrs Palmer alleged that Mr Brimstone phoned her and pressured her to change her vote on the Housing Executive board in favour of the firm Red Sky, which had been overcharging taxpayers.
She alleged he told her “the party comes first”. He has always denied acting inappropriately but says he now struggles to recall that conversation in detail.
Yesterday it emerged that while Mrs Palmer is being disciplined by the DUP, Mr Brimstone has been promoted to become a special adviser in First Minister Peter Robinson’s department.
Last night Hannah Palmer tweeted: “Disgusted at so called ‘supporters’ of my mother voting against the report in the Assembly today. Search your conscience.”
Intriguingly, that tweet was ‘favourited’ by Fiona Paisley, wife of North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley, just days after Mr Paisley’s brother Kyle said that Mrs Palmer had received a “raw deal” from the DUP, which through “ bent reasoning” had decided “she was wrong for telling the truth”.