18/01/2017 BBC Newsline


18/01/2017

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Transcript


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Good evening and welcome to BBC Newsline.

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advisor is stepping aside from any future involvement in the flawed

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renewable heating scheme after failing to declare

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

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Our Political Correspondent Enda McClafferty has the latest.

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

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

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The former minister Jonathan Bale accused him of interfering in the

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

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

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

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to declare that. He said he regretted this situation has

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

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because of that that he's stand by. The

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A senior civil servant says he believes a former special adviser

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

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Dr Andrew McCormick told Stormont's public accounts committee

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that he understood the adviser had influenced a decision

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

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that he had no direct evidence of this.

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Dr McCormick, a departmental Permanent Secretary,

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also said that leaked insider information may have had

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a significant impact on the ?490m overspend.

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Our Agriculture Correspondent, Conor Macauley, watched

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he acknowledged it himself. There was

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huge interest. There is more interest in this session than

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

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

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

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

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There was suggestions that the date originally suggested should be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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understanding was that Andrew Crawford had been exerting that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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there was a perfect storm of circumstances leading to the

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overspend. The failure of understanding of the lucrative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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being shared prematurely with the industry from departmental

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officials. Further revelations about the contact with police on

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

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

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the scheme has finally turned into a torrent.

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In a statement issued earlier, Andrew Crawford confirmed that

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

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adviser in the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment

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He said he would have been offering informal advice

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and assistance to a colleague - and was not speaking

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on behalf of the then Finance Minister Arlene Foster.

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

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against the wishes of the DETI minister Jonathan Bell -

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and had advised that changes to the tariff take effect

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

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in the Fairmount Park area were evacuated during the incident

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but residents have since been allowed to return home.

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The device has been taken away for further examination.

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

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made redundant at the troubled Shivo factory in Londonderry.

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The aerospace engineering firm went into administration a fortnight ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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administrator was called in two weeks ago after the companies said

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

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

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Northwest. Armagh beat county down by two

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points. Now here's Angie Philips

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with the weather forecast. Fairly quite unsettled at the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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brightest day. Flaherty, mainly dry.

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