Belfast Telegraph

Ian Paisley calls for apology from RHI chair over 'intimidating' phone call

Ian Paisley was speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday. Credit:
Ian Paisley was speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday. Credit:

DUP MP Ian Paisley has called for an apology from the chair of the RHI inquiry after an allegation he was involved in an "intimidating" phone call in which he lobbied on behalf of a scheme participant.

Mr Paisley was speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, and said inquiry chair Sir Patrick Coghlin should apologise to him for "putting words in the mouth" of witness Teri Clifton, who appeared before the inquiry last week.

Ms Clifton, a senior operations manager with the Office of Electricity and Gas Markets (Ofgem), said in a witness statement to the inquiry that Mr Paisley had taken part in a conference call along with a number of companies lobbying her to accept a business's late application to the RHI scheme at a higher tariff.

Ms Clifton told the inquiry the November 2015 call had taken place with applicants McNaughtons, their representatives Action Renewables - which provides renewable energy advice - Mr Paisley and a person from Moy Park.

Addressing the Commons, Mr Paisley said "no such call took place" and "it is a lie" to say it had.

He added that Action Renewables and another company called FG Plumbing, both of which are based in his constituency, had held a conference call with Ms Clifton in March 2016 - but that he was not involved in this.

Mr Paisley said Ms Clifton "should be brought back to the inquiry and put through the ringer and asked why they lied to the inquiry about such a matter".

Chairman of the inquiry Sir Coghlin, Mr Paisley said, should "apologise to me personally for his conduct and his actions as I do not take it at all well".

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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