Belfast Telegraph

RHI: Read evidence from Arlene Foster's former Spad Andrew Crawford

Evidence given to the RHI inquiry from Dr Andrew Crawford, former special adviser to DUP leader Arlene Foster, has been published online.

Former DUP Spad to DETI Minister Jonathan Bell, Timothy Cairns, has alleged in his evidence that Dr Crawford tried to postpone cost controls which civil servants wanted to introduce in October 2015 as the heating scheme spiralled out of control.

The RHI public inquiry chairman, retired judge Sir Patrick Coghlin, said: “One of you is accurate or telling the truth about that – not both.”

Mr Cairns disclosed details of exchanges between party advisers around the closure of the scheme.

On 20 July 2015, he received an email from Dr Crawford, his predecessor as DUP adviser at the Enterprise Department.

Mr Cairns claimed that Dr Crawford warned him that cuts to subsidies were expected to come in October and “you are going to get a massive spike of applications before this date”.

In his evidence, Mr Cairns referred to a conversation between Dr Crawford and Stormont official Mike Brennan.

He claimed Dr Crawford had told him that Mr Brennan had made a "veiled accusation" that Dr Crawford was trying to keep the RHI scheme open to benefit his family and friends. Dr Crawford was "outraged" by the claim which he denies.

Dr Crawford resigned from his highly-paid role just minutes after it was announced that a public inquiry was to be held into the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, and 24 hours after he was named by a senior civil servant as the DUP adviser believed pressing to delay RHI cost controls.

He is set to appear before the inquiry on Thursday and Friday.

Read his evidence here:

Andrew Crawford witness statement 6

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