Belfast Telegraph

MLA sorry for jumping the gun on RHI papers

Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir has been left red-faced after tweeting details of a report into the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme - three days before it was due to be officially released.

The former Finance Minister posted details included as part of an embargoed Audit Office report, which covers the accounts of the Department for the Economy, and specifically addresses the RHI fiasco. After it was drawn to his attention, the South Belfast MLA apologised to the Audit Office about breaking the embargo, and subsequently deleted his tweet.

An inquiry, led by retired judge Sir Patrick Coghlin, is due to begin oral hearings in October into the botched heating scheme.

The RHI subsidised scheme for wood pellet boilers led to a huge overspend by the Department, and the cost to the public could be as much as £500m. More than 320,000 pages of documents have already been processed during preliminaries of the inquiry. It will look at the role played by ministers, their special advisers and civil servants as the cost spiralled out of control in late 2015.

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