Jenny Palmer explicit in restating Spotlight claims

DUP Councillor Jenny Palmer appeared at today’s Committee for Social Development ‘Inquiry into allegations, arising from a BBC NI Spotlight programme aired on 3 July 2013, of impropriety or irregularity relating to NIHE managed contracts and consideration of any resulting actions’.

Under oath Councillor Palmer restated her claim that Stephen Brimstone had telephoned her in an attempt to bully her to change her vote at a Housing Executive board meeting, considering the termination of a maintenance contract by the firm, Red Sky.

Jenny Palmer

Jenny Palmer

Sitting before the committee to give evidence under oath, Jenny Palmer said that prior to a Housing Executive meeting she was called by Nelson McCausland’s Special Advisor, Stephen Brimstone, who told her to vote against the board, because the party comes first. Councillor Palmer said she was shocked and had to ask Mr Brimstone to repeat what he had said.

Following the phone call, when Councillor Palmer raised concerns for her integrity in what had happened, a meeting was organised for her with party members, including Stephen Brimstone, DUP party leader Peter Robinson and Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson.

At the meeting Councillor Palmer alleged that Mr Brimstone said he was a Christian and wouldn’t have asked her to do that. Then Mr Brimstone agreed with what she said and the First Minister asked her what it would take to put the situation right.

Councillor Palmer said they agreed an apology was the best way forward, but she is still waiting for one. Then she produced copies of five draft apologies, which she has refused to accept due to changes made which she claims contain opinion and innuendo.

Everyone in the room agreed that. We all gave each other big hugs and went out the door. Five drafts later, we’re still fighting over that apology

Reiterating the point that she expected things to be delivered, Councillor Palmer said they never where.

Committee for Social Development

Committee for Social Development

Jim Allister

Jim Allister

 

 

 

 

 

 

In four years of sitting on the Housing Executive Board (2007-2011), Councillor Palmer said she had never been contacted by the party about it before. After this incident she felt like a pawn that had been used in a game of politics.

Councillor Palmer said that when Senior DSD Civil Servant Michael Sands had arrived at a Housing Executive board meeting he told the members that he had no role to be there and even her secretary said that it was unusual to see him there. Following the meeting she said that Mr Sands asked her about an email that had been sent to the HE Board Chairman, but she said she knew nothing about it. Councillor Palmer said she didn’t understand why Mr Sands had attended the meeting, or asked her about the email and said she had to assume that he had spoken to Mr Brimstone before attending the meeting.

At one stage in the ongoing proceedings Councillor Palmer said she was delighted when she heard that Mr Sands could verify her evidence from when they spoke. But today under questions from Jim Allister arising from the BBC Spotlight programme, Mr Sands told the committee: “I honestly cannot remember.”

Gregory Campbell

Gregory Campbell

Sammy Wilson

Sammy Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

Next followed a line of questioning as Gregory Campbell and Sammy Wilson played bad cop bad cop on Councillor Palmer for over an hour. Eventually committee chair Alex Maskey MLA reminded everyone that people giving evidence were under oath to tell the truth and Councillor Palmer said: “I have told the truth, the whole truth and I have been completely honest.”

Stephen Brimstone had also been due to appear at today’s meeting but as Jim Allister tweeted was “not available.” Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey said “no explanation whatsoever” had been given for Mr Brimstone’s absence, which Mr Allister described as “showing contempt.” This has led some to question whether the DUP have finally grasped the seriousness of appearing at an Assembly Committee meeting and giving evidence under oath.

Jim

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  • chrisjones2

    Bad day for the flat earthers in the DUP with this and the Judgement on Pootsies Blood Donor Debacle.

    When the hell will the Auditors start to surcharge some of these buffoons?

  • barnshee

    good on her

  • Morpheus

    She did well considering the questioning from Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber – a recess had to be called after she broke down. And this is a party colleague who has shown she has more integrity in her little finger than both of them combined

  • Surveyor

    Funny how the DUP automatically believe a woman who makes accusations
    against Sinn Féin but not when accusations are made against their own
    party.

  • Charles FitzGerald

    yes

  • Paula Logue

    wee Sammy doing what wee Sammy does best bullying a woman. The DUP are pure shite doing that to one of their own

  • Sliothar

    Nailed it in one, Surveyor!

    But it’s not the first time the DUPs are on record in bullying women.
    Cast your minds back to the select committee when Dawn Purvis and her colleague were verbally abused by several of the DUPs re the Marie Stopes Centre. It’s what they do…

  • chrisjones2

    Well they are inferior…the bible says so

  • Catcher in the Rye

    It’s only on councils where they can do that.

  • chrisjones2

    What a pity

  • Dec

    Hmm, Stormont Enquiry, Councillor crying, intra-party party allegations of bullying and counter allegations of lying, Spad off playing golf (possibly), senior civil servant apparently suffering from amnesia and yet no thread by Pete… he’s usually very thorough and prompt with this sort of thing*…what am i mssing?

    * Mick often posts his own thread on the same topic the following day, just in case we hadn’t read Pete’s enough. I’ll check back for that this evening

  • David Crookes

    What we see here is all of a piece with the Twaddell Avenue culture. Bullies are often babies who refuse to grow up. They have only one policy: give me what I want. Then when you try to hold them to account they are unavailable for comment.
    Here is how to punish them. Don’t merely deny them your vote. Vote for someone completely different. As long as we have a DUP FM we shall have the DUP trying to pretend that it’s still 1950, and that nothing has changed.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    You can say that again.

    In fact I heard talk a few months ago that the unionists (probably DUP, but I can’t remember) were trying to get the surcharge provisions taken away. Fortunately that seems to have been stopped.

  • anon

    Hmm, maybe we should vote for a hero like yourself? How do we punish those who think they are too good to engage with their party? Nothing has changed alright, just look closer.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks for your posting, anon. First sign of heroism: using your own real name. Second sign of heroism: turning up to answer questions under oath.

  • puffen

    Where is our fearless media, why is this not making front page news, Nolan ??

  • Morpheus

    When 2000 people are murdered in Nigeria (with 600 day the day before) and there’s hardly a ripple in the media then what hope of Jenny Palmer?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/09/boko-haram-deadliest-massacre-baga-nigeria

    #NousSommesNigérianeAujourd’hui , oui?

  • puffen

    All politics is local

  • kalista63

    Well, the DUP are savaging their own councilor to protect this, seemingly,devious back room boy. All has that scent of Scientology.