Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Arlene Foster urges O Muilleoir to step aside for Jamie Bryson 'coaching' probe

Published 26/08/2016

First Minister Arlene Foster
First Minister Arlene Foster

Pressure is growing on Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir with Arlene Foster saying he should step aside for the investigation into claims Jamie Bryson was coached ahead of a committee appearance.

The First Minister was speaking after the North Antrim MLA Daithi McKay resigned over claims the loyalist blogger was coached ahead of his appearance at the finance committee for its hearing on the Nama property deal.

In leaked messages Mr O Muilleoir's name was mentioned.

He, however, has denied any involvement and wrongdoing and said he will not be stepping down.

Read more:

Sinn Fein's O Muilleoir: My hands are clean and I'll be vindicated by any inquiry  

Finance Minister urged to step down by committee pending deal probe outcome  

Jamie Bryson leaked Sinn Fein secrets as revenge on MLA McKay over parade

Speaking to the BBC First Minister Arlene Foster questioned his decision to remain.

She said: "I believe, on balance, it would be to the benefit of the institutions if he had stepped aside even temporarily."

"People have stepped aside temporarily in the past.

"Sinn Fein have decided he is to remain in place and at the end of the day it is their call."

The Daithi McKay chaired finance committee was investigating the £1.3bn sale of Nama's Northern Ireland assets to a US investment firm following claims by Republic of Ireland TD Mick Wallace £7m was banked in an Isle of Man account which was earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician.

Jamie Bryson appeared in front of the committee and alleged the then First Minister Peter Robinson was involved. However, Mr Robinson vehemently denied that he was involved or that he benefited in any way from the property deal.

Last week Stormont was rocked with claims Mr Bryson was coached ahead of his appearance and the committee chair McKay was involved.

A message from the Sinn Fein man helped set up a back channel to another party worker who offered advice on how to deliver his evidence.

Online Editors

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph