“It is entirely within the rules for Assembly members..”

The Belfast Telegraph’s “Open Stormont” campaign continues. Six months after an initial FOI request to reveal the names of landlords of Assembly politicians’ constituency offices was made, and refused, the paper has successfully challenged that refusal. We already knew about one of those landlords. But, as David Gordon reports, as well as the number of politicians claiming rental expenses for party-owned premises, there are a number of otherwise anonymous Society’s named as landlords.

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  • Big Bird

    Don’t see Alistair McDonnell on this list. With 2 offices and his own property/business empire, it would be interesting to see his landlords listed. Why would they be ommitted?

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “Politicians take advantage of loop-holes SHOCKA!” if I’m being cynical.

    An important issue even if the sense of ‘scandal’ doesn’t quite measure up to the facts. Give them an inch they’ll take a mile but good that it’s being exposed especially by the Tele who would know a thing or two about massaging figures to fool the public with their 100,000 sales per night. Yeah, right.

    I hope Martina Purdy and her colleagues at the BBC will get onto this with the same enthusiasm they displayed when going after Ian Paisley Junior. And then, perhaps, we can turn our attentions to how much public money is paid to BBC presenters including Stephen Nolan for his various BBC jobs. *coughs* 200 grand *coughs*

  • PeaceandJustice

    Tax payers have a right to know who is running these cultural and historical groups named as landlords for the Sinn Fein PIRA offices.

  • fair play

    I think that parties taking advantage of rental income is fair enough and using the money generated to provide advices centres is a good use of tax payers money, which would be otherwise going to private landlords. The big problem is that in some cases the money is going to relatives and in effect, some MLAs are paying themselves. This is the thin edge of the corruption, which is rife within some sections of the political world. The paisleys are not alone in their less than transparent business dealings.

  • Big Bird

    Where are the Robinsons? With a staff of family members it would be interesting to see who they pay their rent to, considering their record of “keeping it in the family”.

  • Renten Mark

    ” The paisleys are not alone in their less than transparent business dealings. ”

    So naturally should face not criticism whatsoever

  • btw anyone fed up with the Belly Telly’s use of misleading head lines???? the one last week took the biccy

    “Model crushed by horse”….

    then they never refer to the word “crushed” again within the article…. and they quote – “She is actually grand,” her brother Cian said yesterday evening.

    Must be the first person to ever be “crushed” and be “actually grand” after it….

    I am not belittling her injury just the inaccurate headline…

    thats just a general observation….

  • “The landlord for the joint Paisley base has been confirmed by the Assembly as the firm Sarcon no 250.”

    Sarcon No 250 is a shelf company registered by Carson McDowell on 14 March 2007. Seymour Henry Sweeney became a director on 30 May 2007.

    More at post #13 ‘but no one likes to speak ill of the politically dead’ where Junior’s claims about change of directorship date do not match official documentation.

    PS The Belfast Telegraph seems reluctant to comment on the ongoing Rathlin Ferry Operator fiasco – as do North Antrim MLAs. Will the Northern Ireland Audit Office be ‘permitted’ to investigate or will there be a closing of Ministerial and senior civil servant ranks? Can we expect the sacrifice of a few scapegoats?

  • Eddie

    1) MLAs RENTS:A lot of the people listed as “landlords” are not landlords at all but estate agency firms who do lettings.

    So in the case of a fair number of MLAs we are still no wiser about who the owner of their offices are. It would be quite easy for the real owner to hide behind an estate agent if there was potential for potential embarrassment. The Telegraph hasn’t really cracked this one at all – but have been hoodwinked by a seeming list “landlords”

    2) STEPHEN NOLAN: These cheap attacks on Stephen Nolan are just that – cheap. Nolan, tiresome as he may be on occasions, has never been accused of employing family and relatives on his programme and therby chanelling public money to them. So hardly a relevant comparison – rather a sly tactic to try to divert attention from a subject about which some people seem to be desperately sensitive.

  • Essentialist

    Such a pity that the “Belly Telly” can’t be FOI’d.
    Instead of the steady diet of sensationalist headlines we’d find out how many inconvenient stories are buried by the publishing giant.

    Is Ed Curran still on the Press Complaints Commission or was he replaced by Stephen Nolan?

  • Michael Shilliday

    What exactly is the problem with renting offices from your party? Why are they any different to any other landlord? Other than, obviously, family or yourself.