Bringing Northern Ireland’s political process in line with the UK

It’s exactly a year to the day since Jo Cox was murdered. The Labour MP, who represented the Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen, was shot and stabbed in the village of Birstall. People in many areas are marking this day, not by remembering her killer, but by holding events to celebrate her life. Whatever your view of Westminster, or politicians, the murder of Jo Cox was an attack on democracy. It was also a terrifying manifestation of the desire …

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Where did the DUP get £250k for that Brexit Metro wrap around? (Answer: NI law says they don’t have to tell us)

When it comes donations and party funding, Northern Ireland is to the UK political world, what Panama is to tax. Peter Geoghegan and Adam Ramsay with a nice piece of investigative journalism at Open Democracy: A quarter of a million pounds is unlike anything the DUP has spent in the past. Just a month before the EU referendum, the party won 38 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections and retained its position as the largest party there. To do …

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“I recognise and support the desire for full transparency in politics…”

Last month Gonzo noted the UK “Government’s response to the public consultation on the confidentiality arrangements that apply to donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties.” NIO minister Hugo Swire was quite explicit that the reason the identities of donors to political parties would remain secret was the threat of intimidation. But it’s possibly worth highlighting one of the Government’s proposals in particular [pdf file] 13. There remains strong opposition from some sources to the release of all details …

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Show us the money (and its donors)…

Hugo Swire announced the NIO consultation on the exceptional confidentiality provision that only applies to donations to the northern political parties. The current arrangement has had it’s expiry date shoved out from 31st October 2010 to 1st March 2011 by the Control of Donations and Regulations of Loans Etc. (Extension of the Prescribed Period) (Northern Ireland) Order 2010. In brief, parties must provide financial information to the Electoral Commission – it just isn’t published. While the consultation only began on …

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