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DUP declines to disclose if any representatives are RHI claimants

DUP special adviser Andrew Crawford's brother is an RHI claimant but the party is silent on whether any of its MLAs are in receipt of the subsidy

THE DUP has refused to disclose whether any of its MLAs personally benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

A week ago The Irish News asked all Stormont's parties whether any of their elected representatives are claimants – from both the non-domestic or the less generous domestic element of the RHI.

Since this newspaper revealed 10 days ago that a brother of DUP special adviser Andrew Crawford was claiming subsidies, there have been growing calls for the names of all recipients to be made public in the interests of transparency.

Economy minister Simon Hamilton has claimed data protection legislation prevents him publishing names, although critics claim this does not apply to businesses and cite the annual release of all farm subsidy recipients.

Sinn Féin confirmed on Sunday night that a brother of former agriculture minister Michelle Gildernew is a claimant of the domestic scheme.

The party said it was unable to account for all councillors at present but no other MLAs, MEPs or MPs or their families were claiming RHI.

Arlene Foster speaking to the Irish News in October about RHI:

The SDLP said the brother of an unnamed councillor lodged a successful application in February this year after curbs on subsidies had been introduced, but no other public representatives were beneficiaries of the scheme.

"The SDLP continues to call for the full list of RHI beneficiaries to be made public in the interests of transparency and full scrutiny," a party spokesman added.

The Ulster Unionists said its MEP, lords, MPs and MLAs were "neither direct nor indirect beneficiaries" of the RHI scheme.

"We are in the process of contacting all councillors as well, but from those who have responded so far, none have been beneficiaries," a spokesman said.

Alliance said none of its elected representatives claimed RHI and likewise the Greens, People Before Profit and TUV.

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