Belfast Telegraph

RHI: Read evidence from Jonathan Bell's former Spad Timothy Cairns

Evidence from former DETI Minister Jonathan Bell's Spad Timothy Cairns to the RHI inquiry has been published online.

During his explosive appearance at the inquiry last week Mr Bell made a number of accusations surrounding Mr Cairns.

Mr Cairns worked alongside Mr Bell during his time as DETI Minister between 2015-2016 when the green energy scheme was closed.

Mr Bell spoke of his at times difficult relationship with his special adviser whom he claimed deliberately attempted to restrict his powers. He said Mr Cairns had told him: "Ministers come and go, spads remain."

He claimed his special adviser felt more responsible to DUP spads Timothy Johnston and Richard Bullick than to him as minister.

After a blazing row in London in June 2015 over the extent Mr Bell as minister was free to make his own decisions without consulting the DUP, Mr Cairns took an early flight back to Belfast and was off work for a fortnight.

However, after a meeting to clear the air, relations improved, Mr Bell claimed. While Mr Cairns' evidence to the inquiry is that he was unhappy with the outcome of the meeting, Mr Bell said they "worked together far more constructively" afterwards.

Mr Bell denied that he swung a punch at Mr Cairns or threatened to break his finger after he wagged it during a breakfast meeting with the minister.

He also claimed that Mr Cairns had told him "in garish and lurid detail" about "the sexual misbehaviour of two DUP ministers".

Mr Cairns will appear before the RHI Inquiry on Tuesday and Wedenesday.

He will be asked about his role in the RHI scandal and the claims made against him by Mr Bell.

Read his evidence here:

Timothy Cairns witness statement 1

Timothy Cairns witness statement 2

Timothy Cairns witness statement 3

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