Belfast Telegraph

DUP 'fails to get peerage for millionaire businessman'

By Alan Murray

Senior DUP sources have claimed that a multi-millionaire philanthropist was nominated by the party for a peerage which was rejected by a Westminister watchdog.

The party has declined to divulge the name of its nominee, one of seven rejected by the House of Lords Appointment Commission.

Since August there has been speculation the former South Antrim MP William McCrea was the nominee blocked by the Westminster watchdog although he has said he was not aware of being nominated and a party spokesman was quoted as dismissing the claim it was the ex-MP.

Then last week the DUP refuted a suggestion in the London satirical magazine Private Eye that the party had proposed Peter Robinson to the Commission only to have the nomination rejected.

Party sources say the person nominated was not a former MP but a fabulously wealthy entrepreneur who has supported good causes in Northern Ireland and across the UK.

The sources said the businessman is not a DUP member or a party donor and has no close links to senior party members.

But when Sunday Life contacted the businessman via an intermediary yesterday, he said he had no knowledge of being proposed for the House of Lords.

 The DUP refused to confirm or deny that the entrepenuer was put forward by the party to the Lords Appointments Commission.  A DUP spokesman said: “The party does not comment on such appointments or respond to speculation.”

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