SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has said that allegations from a senior civil servant that ‘insider information’ was linked to the catastrophic RHI overspend is a signal of corruption that must be rooted out of government.
The Foyle MLA said that allegations that a DUP Special Adviser, now revealed as Andrew Crawford, exerted pressure on the Department of Enterprise to delay the closure of the scheme must form part of a public inquiry.
Mr Eastwood said: “Dr Andrew McCormick is one of the most respected senior civil servants in government. His character and statements have been unimpeachable.
“Dr McCormick delivered his evidence to the committee in a quiet manner but his audible honesty will prove devastating for the DUP.
“Much of Dr McCormick’s evidence either confirmed or added to the suspicions which have surrounded this scheme from the very beginning.
“His suggestion that insider information played a part in the RHI catastrophe is a signal of a corruption in this scheme and a corruption of government that must be rooted out.
“The further suggestion that a DUP Special Adviser exerted pressure on the Department of Enterprise to delay the closure of this scheme during Summer 2015, just before the spike in applications, confirms that their attempt to feign ignorance is dead in the water. This must form part of a full public inquiry into this matter.
“Only a fully empowered public inquiry capable of compelling papers and people to secure the truth of this matter can begin to restore the shattered public confidence.
“The public will have an opportunity to cast their judgement on what parties have done and how they plan to deal with this scandal. Those resisting full disclosure and the highest standards of accountability should explain themselves to the electorate.”