The official report into Northern Ireland’s cash-for-ash scandal has been published.
This concerns a renewable heat initiative (RSI) scheme presided over by DUP leader Arlene Foster which may have cost British taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.
Inquiry Chairman Sir Patrick Coghlin faulted the Northern Ireland First Minister for not reading her own department’s legislation.
Cú Chulainn writes:
In his report, Sir Patrick says the flaws and problems were not the result of “corrupt or malicious activity on the part of officials, Ministers or Special Advisers”.
He adds: “Rather, the vast majority of what went wrong, was due to an accumulation and compounding of errors and omissions over time and failure of attention, on the part of all those involved in their differing roles, to identify the existence, significance or implications of those errors and omissions.”
Cash for Stash.
Cash-for-ash inquiry delivers damning indictment of Stormont incompetence (The Guardian)
From top: DUP Leader Arlene Foster: Peter Brooke in this morning’s The Times
Writing in today’s Belfast Telegraph, Ms Foster is critical of the Brexit deal and says Mr Johnson agreed to greater than necessary checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.
She also said that he settled for what she calls a “one-sided” consent mechanism involving Stormont.
However, at the beginning and end of the article, Ms Foster states the party wants to get Northern Ireland moving again.
She also says that the party wants Brexit to be delivered and devolution restored.
Arlene Foster: We cannot back a deal that is not in Northern Ireland’s best interests Arlene Foster, Belfast Telegraph)
Foster confirms DUP’s ten MPs will oppose Brexit deal in vote (BBC)
Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
Democratic Union Party (DUP) Leader Arlene Foster (right) arrives at the Intercontinental Hotel, for a ‘private meeting’.
Ms Foster met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Government Buildings last night and as a guest speaker at a Dublin Chamber function last night.
She said those who question the stance of her party should check the letter that she and then deputy first minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly Martin McGuinness sent to former British prime minister Theresa May in August 2016, in which they outlined their concerns about Brexit.
Ms Foster said she favours a solution that recognises the constitutional position of Northern Ireland, but also the fact that it has the only land border between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“I do recognise we have a very short period of time but I very much believe that if there is a determination, a willingness and a commitment, then we can find a way through,” she said.
Foster, Varadkar meet for talks on Brexit and NI (RTÉ)
DUP leader Arlene Foster speaking in Westminster ahead of the vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons this evening.
LIVE: Decision day at Westminster (RTE)
Merrrion Hotel, Merrion Street, Dublin 2
DUP leader Arlene Foster in Dublin for Brexit talks and what have you.
Earlier: A Limerick A Day
DUP leader Arlene Foster
Alene Foster is prepared to reach a compromise on a Northern Ireland amnesty to prevent elderly veterans from being repeatedly investigated over deaths during the Troubles, The Telegraph understands.
In a significant breakthrough, sources in Belfast and Whitehall claim that the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and Gavin Williamson are now “on the same page” and are discussing proposals which they hope will be approved by the Attorney General.
The plans, which are yet to be signed off by Number 10, would bring about new protections for veterans, including safeguards for those who have been investigated – and cleared – from having to relive the process “over and over again”.
Arlene Foster prepared to compromise on Troubles amnesty for veterans, sources claim (Daily Telegraph)
Boris Johnson’s “positive” vision for Brexit has been praised by the DUP leader Arlene Foster as she said she would work with him if he became Prime Minister.
In a major boost for Mr Johnson’s leadership ambitions, Mrs Foster endorsed the “belief” and “spirit” contained in his blueprint for Brexit.
She criticised Theresa May’s Government, which needs the DUP’s votes to maintain its working majority, saying one of her biggest disappointments was the failure of ministers to “talk about the aspirations for the nation”.
We would work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, says DUP leader, as she praises his ‘positive’ Brexit vision (Daily Telegrap – behind paywall)
Arlene Foster says Good Friday Agreement ‘not sacrosanct’ (RTÉ)
DUP leader Arlene Foster on BBC
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar “should know better” than to “play around” with Northern Ireland over Brexit, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party says.
Arlene Foster accused Mr Varadkar of being “reckless” as Brexit talks enter a “critical phase”.
She was speaking after meeting Theresa May at Downing Street.
The Irish government says any hard border with Northern Ireland should be off the table.
…Speaking to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Mrs Foster said: “Some people are taking their moment in the sun, to try and get the maximum in relation to the negotiations – and I understand that but you shouldn’t play about with Northern Ireland particularly at a time when we’re trying to bring about devolved government again.”
WATCH INTERVIEW: Irish PM should know better over Brexit, says Arlene Foster (BBC)
Yesterday: Leo’s Day In The Sun
UK Prime Minister Theresa May greets Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, on Downing Street this morning
The DUP’s 10 MPs will back the Tories in key Commons votes, starting with the Queen’s Speech later this week, but there will be no formal coalition.
The talks focused on financial support for Northern Ireland and Brexit.
The DUP has claimed the UK government has agreed to improve the treatment of military veterans in Northern Ireland as part of the agreement but played down reports that it had sought £2bn in extra funding for Northern Ireland in return for their support.
Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government (BBC)
DUP and the Conservative party have agreed to:
Keeping the triple lock for pensions
Keeping winter fuel payments for all pensioners
Keeping defence spending at 2% of GDP
Extending the armed forces covenant to Northern Ireland
There is also a financial package worth £1bn over two years. There will also be “new flexibilities” in terms of how £500m already committed to Northern Ireland can be spent.
£1bn Tory/DUP deal will retain pensions lock and winter fuel payments – Politics live (Guardian)
At the May Must Go protest in London.
Thanks Ronan Emmet
Government buildings, Dublin 2
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and DUP leader Arlene Foster meet to discuss Brexit, the Stormont stalemate and the UK elections over a brew.