18/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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Good evening and welcome to BBC Newsline.


advisor is stepping aside from any future involvement in the flawed


renewable heating scheme after failing to declare


John Robinson's father in law receives payment from the RHI


Our Political Correspondent Enda McClafferty has the latest.


Charles Robinson is a key member of the DUP backroom team. First as


director of communications, and the advisers of the economy minister.


The former minister Jonathan Bale accused him of interfering in the


RNA scheme. He said he had no link whatsoever to the scheme. He was


questioned by the press Association, that his father is nor as a


recipient of the scheme. The DUP declared that John Robertson failed


to declare that. He said he regretted this situation has


developed, whereby there is a perception of conflict. It is


because of that that he's stand by. The


A senior civil servant says he believes a former special adviser


to Arlene Foster exerted influence in relation to the RHI scheme.


Dr Andrew McCormick told Stormont's public accounts committee


that he understood the adviser had influenced a decision


Naming the advisor as Andrew Crawford, he also told the committee


that he had no direct evidence of this.


Dr McCormick, a departmental Permanent Secretary,


also said that leaked insider information may have had


a significant impact on the ?490m overspend.


Our Agriculture Correspondent, Conor Macauley, watched


he acknowledged it himself. There was


huge interest. There is more interest in this session than


September. He is the senior civil servant in the Department of economy


charged with clearing up the R.N. I mess. He said one of the special


advisers were putting pressure on the scheme to remain open, even as


accusations are flooding in, and there was pressure to shouted down.


There was suggestions that the date originally suggested should be


extended. We were going through the discussions in the summer of 2015. I


was never clear exactly who was involved, the person we were dealing


with was in the DTI, Timothy Cairns. He was making it


clear it was not his idea. That led to an obvious question from the


public accounts committee. Whose idea was it? The understanding I


expressed to minister Hamilton, and his adviser in recent times, Mike


understanding was that Andrew Crawford had been exerting that


influence. He was at pains to say he had no direct evidence of that


pressure. In the summer 2015, Andrew Foster was Arlene Foster's man


injured apartment. At one point in the proceedings Arlene Foster's name


came up. Having considered the material, have you seen any evidence


of wrongdoing by the First Minister, the former First Minister? No.


Absolutely none. Mr MacCormack was only getting started in a session


where he was confirming he was permitted to speak freely. He said


there was a perfect storm of circumstances leading to the


overspend. The failure of understanding of the lucrative


subsidy. The industry did understand. 50, two 100 installers


or individuals were spreading the word. Then this bombshell. Around


the period July, there is evidence of some premature information being


made available to the industry. Some documents appeared with me after


Christmas, this needs further investigation, I would prefer to say


not too much about this, not to prejudice the investigation. It is


quite serious. There was potential for the tariff to be reduced. The


message went within the sector, get in quick. Suggestions it has come


from within your department? Yes. It suggests there was some information


being shared prematurely with the industry from departmental


officials. Further revelations about the contact with police on


allegations of abuse. And Jonathan Bale may have been recorded without


his knowledge or consent. It seems the drip feed of revelations about


the scheme has finally turned into a torrent.


In a statement issued earlier, Andrew Crawford confirmed that


during the summer of 2015 he had spoken to his fellow special


adviser in the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment


He said he would have been offering informal advice


and assistance to a colleague - and was not speaking


on behalf of the then Finance Minister Arlene Foster.


He repeated that he had not sought to keep the scheme open


against the wishes of the DETI minister Jonathan Bell -


and had advised that changes to the tariff take effect


The police say a viable device has been found during a security


in the Fairmount Park area were evacuated during the incident


but residents have since been allowed to return home.


The device has been taken away for further examination.


The Unite trade union says about half of the workers have been


made redundant at the troubled Shivo factory in Londonderry.


The aerospace engineering firm went into administration a fortnight ago.


staff are employed at the engineering plant. They arrive to be


told the news they feared. Around 30 people were made redundant


yesterday, more bad news followed today for other employees. Happy I


got this far. I got my life at this place. Finished now, not too


bothered. Disheartened for the younger workers. Yes, my son was


working here, made redundant yesterday. Two people in one house.


They make parts for the aircraft industry, the plant was bought about


18 months ago, they had initial plans for expansion. The


administrator was called in two weeks ago after the companies said


they could not turn the business around. Business leaders have called


the news is devastating, another massive blow to manufacturing in the


Northwest. Armagh beat county down by two


points. Now here's Angie Philips


with the weather forecast. Fairly quite unsettled at the


moment. Going to stay that way into the region. High-pressure giving us


a lot of dry weather. Road spells, generally a lot of cloud, it will


become a little cooler as well. Mild night to come, overcast skies. Some


list and hill fog squeezing out the odd spot of drizzle. Dry, with lows


of 6-7 . Tomorrow, quite a lot of cloud. A lot of dry weather as well.


The odd spot of drizzle over the hills thirsting in the morning.


Other than that, driving slowly. Elsewhere across the country, a fair


amount of cloud, misty at murky conditions across central parts.


Drizzly rain, a breeze across the northern Scotland. Their sunshine


for the north-east of Scotland and the South of England. A chilly day


after a frosty start again. Brightening up towards the west of


Ireland as we head through the day. Later in the afternoon, the odd


bright spell developing in parts of the West, parts of County Fermanagh.


Certainly not guarantee. Average temperatures of 8-9 . High-pressure


is in charge heading towards the weekend. Trading fair enough the


continent, they're in mind, that is pretty cold. Looking at the really


cold air, temperatures coming down. The odd bright spell, Friday the


brightest day. Flaherty, mainly dry.


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