Northern Ireland news

RHI: Timothy Cairns explains 'party narrative' text message

Ex-DUP special adviser Timothy Cairns

TIMOTHY Cairns has given his explanation for a text message in which he said: "I will fit my story in with the party narrative and what is best for party."

Mr Cairns sent the message to then DUP special adviser Richard Bullick in December 2016 several days after a BBC Nolan Show interview with Jonathan Bell about the RHI scheme.

He wrote: "I have said to you, Arlene [Foster] and TJ [Timothy Johnston] that I will fit my story in with the party narrative and what is best for party.

"When it's right to release my story we can do that I am in party hands."

In his statements to the RHI inquiry, Mr Cairns said: "I believe I was expressing that if they wanted to protect Mr Robinson, while I disagreed with that strategy, I was still willing to help."

Mr Cairns has made bullying allegations against Mr Bell and claimed then DUP leader Peter Robinson did not address them. Mr Bell denies the allegations.

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