Colum Eastwood: NI Executive need to come to a collective response on RHI

SOAPBOX Writing exclusively for Slugger, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood invokes the old political truism that if a story involving a political scandal runs into the second week then resignations always follow. Arlene Foster is now facing into her second week of the biggest political scandal to hit Stormont since devolution. This story isn’t go away anytime soon, in fact it’s growing legs …

When should a politician resign?

When should a politician resign? What is the bar for a politician to resign from Ministerial or public office? Firstly the trend in regard to leaders and major referendums is the most clear cut. Alex Salmond lost the Scottish Independence Referendum, he resigned as First Minister. David Cameron lost the EU Referendum, he resigned as Prime Minister. Matteo Renzi lost his referendum on  constitutional reform and he resigned as Italian PM. We haven’t had a referendum specific to the north …

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No one who understood the public interest in RHI would have backed down so softly on cost reductions

It’s clear that First Minister Arlene Foster has some serious questions to answer about an overrun of £400 million on one Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) scheme. Ironically it is just a little over a year since Peter Robinson said he would not give “rogue Sinn Féin or renegade SDLP ministers” a chance to take “decisions that will harm the community in Northern Ireland”. What else is such a large (and un-subsidisable) hole in the public finances other than large-scale harm to the NI community? And …

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Nesbitt urges Foster to consider her position

After last nights Spotlight programme the UUP leader, Mike Nesbitt has urged the First Minister, Arlene Foster to consider her position over the Heat Incentive Scheme. In his statement Nesbitt says; “The mismanagement of the Renewable Heat Incentive and consequent squandering of hundreds of millions of pounds is another scandal, up there with NAMA and the Social Investment Fund. “This happened on Arlene Foster’s watch in the then Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. To date, her only defence is …

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