Jenny Palmer: Betrayed by the DUP

Yesterday was not a good day for the DUP.

First was the verdict on the Ashers ‘gay cake’ case – an issue that seems to have become inextricably linked to the DUP thanks to the support from figures within the party.

Paul Givan appeared on television shortly afterwards to give his ‘verdict‘ on the actual verdict. Mr. Givan also committed to pursue his doomed conscience clause.

Then came last night’s compelling BBC NI Spotlight programme on Jenny Palmer; the ‘whistleblower’ who initially blew the lid on the whole ‘Red Sky‘ scandal.

The programme is available to watch on the BBC iplayer here but is also available to readers outside the UK on You Tube:

YouTube video

This was damning stuff.

The real villain of the piece was portrayed as DUP ‘Special Advisor’ (or SPAD) Stephen Brimstone who memorably gave evidence to a DSD Committee back in January:

YouTube video

A report carried out by civil servants recommended a formal disciplinary investigation into Mr Brimstone’s behaviour.

Instead it was revealed last week that the adviser had been promoted to work with Peter Robinson – replacing new Member of Parliament Gavin Robinson.

This news came hot on the heels of news that Stormont spends more on ‘SPADs‘ than the devolved Assemblies of Scotland and Wales combined.

Peter Robinson’s three top advisers earn almost £92,000 per year.

Nice work if you can get it.

So will this latest scandal harm the DUP?

Probably not.

Last month’s Jim Wells furore did little damage at the ballot box.

However the continued side-lining of Sammy Wilson, Edwin Poots, Gregory Campbell and the aforementioned Paul Givan, in tandem with the promotion of more ‘liberal’ figures (in DUP terms) such as Simon Hamilton and Arlene Foster tells a different story.

Are the DUP capable of  progression?

Time will tell.

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