Belfast Telegraph

RHI scandal: Two relatives of Arlene Foster's advisor had applied for the scheme

By Victoria Leonard

Another relative of Arlene Foster's former special adviser applied for RHI boilers just before cost controls were introduced, documents submitted to the RHI Inquiry have revealed.

In April, it emerged that Richard Crawford, a poultry farmer cousin of Mrs Foster's former advisor Andrew Crawford, had secured boilers under the scheme.

Now, it has come to light that another cousin of Dr Crawford also benefited.

John Crawford applied for two boilers on November 16, 2015, and made another boiler application the following day - the last two days before the scheme's subsidy was cut.

In his witness statement to the RHI Inquiry, former Deti Permanent Secretary Dr Andrew McCormick said that he was advised by former DUP spad Timothy Johnston in December 2016 that he "should look up details for a Richard Crawford and a John Crawford who were cousins of Andrew Crawford".

Dr McCormick said that he "asked the team to investigate" and received an email detailing the applications.

Dr McCormick said he drew the issue to the attention of Sir Malcolm McKibbin, as "the timing of the accreditation of John Crawford's boilers" could have "exposed the DUP to very severe risk of criticism, as by that time, one of the strongest allegations being made against them was that the scheme had been kept at the higher tariff to benefit people associated with the DUP".

Belfast Telegraph

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