Sinn Féin demand answers over DUP’s ‘Dark Money’ donor
Invest NI, Belfast City Council and the Departments for the Economy and Communities must explain why official discussions were facilitated with a major DUP donor linked to so called Brexit ‘Dark Money’, Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has said.The party’s Brexit spokesperson was commenting after it was revealed that Richard Cook, a former vice chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, was involved in a series of senior meetings to discuss ‘potential investment opportunities’ in the months following the EU referendum. Mr. Cook chairs the shadowy Constitutional Research Council (CRC) that donated almost £450,000 in ‘Dark Money’ to the DUP to help fund the pro-Brexit campaign.“Unanswered questions remain about the source of those funds and why they were funnelled through the DUP,” Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said.“All we know for sure is that the DUP took the money but we are all paying the price in terms of the disastrous Brexit agenda they are attempting to force upon us.“Now it has emerged that Mr. Cook was involved in a series of official meetings with two DUP-controlled ministries, the Department for the Economy and the Department for Communities. He was also in discussions with Invest NI and Belfast City Council officials.“Given the secrecy and controversy surrounding Mr. Cook, the CRC and its role in the Brexit campaign, I think it’s understandable that questions are now being asked about these meetings. “I have written to the Head of the Civil Service, Invest NI and the council to ask what exactly was discussed at these meetings, who requested them and on what basis were they agreed to.
“The full story about the Brexit Dark Money scandal and the DUP’s involvement in it has still not been established so the very least the public deserves is some openness and transparency from publicly funded bodies about the content and nature of these meetings with Mr. Cook.”