Mick noted the Belfast Telegraph’s “Open Stormont” campaign previously, and in today’s paper David Gordon reports that the Northern Ireland Office seems uncertain about how open political parties will be.
A spokesman for the NIO told the Belfast Telegraph: “It remains the Government’s firm hope that concerns about intimidation of donors will have diminished by the end of 2010, at which point Northern Ireland will then move to full transparency in the regulation of donations to political parties. “However, if there are indications at this time that the timing is not right, then the Secretary of State will need to consider carefully how to proceed.”
The report also notes the response from one of those political parties
Alliance leader David Ford questioned the NIO’s comment on the possibility of ongoing intimidation problems in 2010.
“Alliance does not believe there are any grounds for continuing the current secrecy after 2010,” he said. “We do not accept that the current restrictions are valid as we move towards a peaceful society.
“Since the NIO keeps telling the world that all is well in Northern Ireland 10 years after the Agreement, it seems surprising that they believe there will still be problems in two years time.”