A SECOND Assembly Member paying a Policing Board allowance to a relative for research has refused to go public with any details.
Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn told the Belfast Telegraph: "I don't think it is really anybody's business."
His comment came after it emerged SDLP board member Conall McDevitt – who resigned yesterday after admitting he failed to declare a separate payment – gave his £16,000 allowance to his wife, an expert on policing reform. Mr Lunn also pays a family member for research – but will not be drawn on their identity.
The Alliance man said: "I am not interested in saying who this is. This is not secrecy. If anything, it has more to do with security.
"I have provided the information that I am required to provide and I am not going beyond that.
"I would not talk about a relative any more than I would talk about any of my other employees.
"People can perceive whatever they like. I don't see why I should have to talk about any of my employees."
Mr Lunn pointed out if he was paying a relative with office cost allowances from the Assembly "that would have to be declared".
"But this is not the case with the Policing Board," he added.
The Policing Board's annual report notes "two political members employed a close family relative as a researcher" but does not disclose who they are.