Public deserve to know who requested 'extraordinary audit': Campbell

East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell has taken a further step to unmask the political representative who wrote to the Sinn Fein Communities Minister asking her to instruct Causeway Council to carry out an extraordinary audit after a planning dispute held up a hotel development on the North Coast. Two public representatives had previously objected to the hotel development, Cllr. Padraig McShane and Jim Allister MLA.

By Gregory Campbell MP

East Londonderry

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Mr. Campbell said "I originally wrote to the Sinn Fein Communities Minister on 1st Dec. 2020 to ask under Freedom of Information legislation, if anyone had written to her specifically asking that she undertake such an audit, and if that person was a public representative. Her Department confirmed that this was indeed the case, and that the person was a public representative, but they declined to name who it was. I have appealed this decision and await the outcome of that appeal. I understand the total expected cost of this 'extraordinary audit', which has been underway for 18 months will run into tens of thousands of pounds, but we await the confirmed amount ratepayers are expected to pay for this.

Concluding Mr. Campbell said "I have written to the Information Commissioner to ask for this to be reviewed. It is totally unacceptable that we have a Sinn Fein Government Minister being written to by an unnamed public representative who asks the Minister to instruct a local democratically elected Council to undertake a course of action which is racking up tens of thousands of pounds of their ratepayers money and the public are to be prevented from knowing who the public representative was that initiated this course of action. This also means they are unable to question the same public representative as to the reasoning behind the request to the Minister."

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