News

Jamie Bryson: DUP dissenters leaked me Nama claims 'in coup against Peter Robinson'

Jamie Bryson said he was "happy to assist the conspirators" against Peter Robinson. Picture by Mal McCann
Brendan Hughes

JAMIE Bryson has claimed a year on from the Nama scandal that senior DUP figures were leaking him information in a "coup against Peter Robinson".

The high-profile loyalist flag protester turned blogger said he was "happy to assist the conspirators" in their move against the ex-DUP leader.

"I am sure my involvement at the time seemed bizarre – but remember I had done deals with senior DUP dissenters before to help them leak information," he said.

"It was, at its core, a coup against Peter Robinson. A senior faction of his own party decided to move against him, and Nama was a big part of that.

"Naturally I was more than happy to assist the conspirators. And most importantly, it worked."

A year ago this month Stormont was rocked by claims about the controversial billion-pound sale of Nama's Northern Ireland property loans portfolio.

Under parliamentary privilege in the Dáil, independent TD Mick Wallace alleged that a £7m offshore fund linked to the deal was earmarked for a northern politician or party.

The claims led to an ongoing British National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation and political probes on both sides of the border.

A prominent figure in the 2012-13 Union flag protests, Mr Bryson became associated with the Nama controversy after making a series of detailed allegations about the deal online.

It led to the Co Down man appearing before the Stormont finance committee's Nama inquiry, where he sensationally claimed Mr Robinson was among five men set to share in a "success fee" from the massive property sale.

Mr Robinson, who stood down as First Minister and DUP leader earlier this year, strenuously denied allegations of any wrongdoing.

The then DUP leader, who later also appeared before the assembly committee, said the claims were "scurrilous and unfounded" and without "one iota of evidence".

There had been widespread speculation over the possible sources of the series of claims by Mr Bryson, who has continued to make allegations despite threats of legal action.

Speaking to The Irish News a year on from the controversy, Mr Bryson claimed that among the sources feeding him information were "senior DUP dissenters".

"I don't think it's any secret that there was a high-level internal move against Peter Robinson," he said.

[For comprehensive Nama coverage click here]

But he refused to name those he claims supplied him with his allegations surrounding the Nama deal.

"People consistently ask what they give me in return for helping their move against Robinson, but that's a private matter and that – along with the identity of those who led the internal move against Robinson – will go to the grave with me," he said.

Mr Bryson added that he thought his DUP sources would be "reasonably happy at how their coup panned out".

Mr Robinson announced his intention to quit in November, saying he felt it was "the appropriate time" following the 'Fresh Start' deal.

In 2014, Mr Bryson released a book claiming a DUP source also leaked him confidential documents in the toilets of the Stormont Hotel during the Haass talks.

News

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: