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DUP MLA asks for ‘undisclosed’ emails around PPE order

Finance minister Conor Murphy announced Northern Ireland had agreed a joint consignment of PPE from China, but the order later failed.

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A DUP MLA has challenged the department of finance over “undisclosed” emails around an announced PPE order earlier this year. (Niall Carson/PA)

A DUP MLA has challenged the department of finance over “undisclosed” emails around an announced PPE order earlier this year. (Niall Carson/PA)

A DUP MLA has challenged the department of finance over “undisclosed” emails around an announced PPE order earlier this year. (Niall Carson/PA)

A DUP MLA has asked for “undisclosed” emails around an order of personal protective equipment.

Finance minister Conor Murphy told the Stormont Assembly in March that a joint consignment of PPE had been agreed between Northern Ireland and the Irish government with China.

However in April Mr Murphy announced the order had failed after “major economic powers entered the global race for PPE”.

DUP MLA Paul Frew, a member of Stormont’s Finance Committee, has challenged the department to publish all emails around the order.

“I have been seeking full disclosure from the Department of Finance about this failed order,” he said.

“Whilst some information has been handed over to the Finance Committee, there are no emails for either 30th or 31st March. 

“Were no emails sent those days? Were no notes made of conversations those days? No minutes?

“With the deadline for reasonable time to respond approaching and having asked numerous times, the committee then received a letter from the minister stating the email exchanges on those dates related to volumes, products, specifications and pricing.

“There should be full disclosure to protect public confidence.”

The Department of Finance responded with a statement which read: “The department recognises the important role of the Finance Committee. We will continue to work with them and respond to their requests.”

PA