Tories Leap Into the Unpopularity Abyss 249


The official Conservative party spokesman, Laura Kuenssberg, has just announced that Theresa May will remain as Prime Minister, supported by the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland. Now the DUP are probably the most unpleasant bunch of individuals in organised politics in the UK. The “No Surrender” arch protestant bigot party founded by Ian Paisley.

It is fascinating that, after an election in which the Tories and their mainstream media acolytes attacked Jeremy Corbyn at every opportunity for his alleged sympathies with the IRA, the Tories have come to an arrangement with a party that was from its inception and still is the political wing of the loyalist terrorism. The mainstream media never even mentioned the existence of Loyalist terrorism during its sustained attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

The loyalist terrorists murdered 1,016 people in the period 1969-2001. They shot someone dead in a supermarket car park in an internecine dispute actually during the election campaign. In all the media attacks on Corbyn about the IRA, there was no acknowledgement that Loyalist terrorism even existed. I think we can be pretty certain that the media are not going to start digging into the terrorist links of the Tories’ allies now. But social media is going to discredit them.

The DUP are corrupt, homophobic, racist and above all religious bigots of the worst kind. The nastiest people in politics. The utterly discredited Theresa May refuses to resign and intends to continue to rule over us with the support of this ugly faction. Popular support for the Tory government is going to plunge to unprecedented levels. This gruesome malformation of a bigots’ alliance between Brexiteers is not going to last long as a government, and the popular retribution will be massive.

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249 thoughts on “Tories Leap Into the Unpopularity Abyss

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  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    May also suffers from the Trump Syndrome, it is a recessive gene which more readily attacks males.

    She is the onty ore who counts. She can cobble together a working majority out of the Commons disparate membership, muffle the media over the rising storm, work out a stable majority in the Lords, and convert the Queen into a rubber stamp!

    She;s Superwoman1

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Possibly necessary to explain: ‘Jonathan Pie’ is an actor, playing the role of an outside broadcast presenter during his off-air intervals. And creatively obscene rants are much prized by British audiences. They probably wouldn’t go down so well with Southern Baptists. Or the DUP.

        PS. That Chinook hit a stuffed cloud because its radar was u/s, or possibly not present at all.

  • David

    She should resign but who is going to put themselves forward as a replacement. I think some grandees have leaned on her to stay. If she goes now the Tories will surely go into meltdown immediately. I think she has been persuaded or forced to stay to give the 1922 old boys club time to come up with a plan. They are going to need a lot of luck to navigate a credible way out of the chaos she has created. I do not wish them well.

    • philw

      The replacement has to be negotiated with the Blairites. I could see a certain power twisting a few arms to insert Dr Fox.

      The hold-up is probably the Blairites being unable to choose a name for their new party – ‘Social Democrats’ has been tried, ‘New Liberals’ a bit too descriptive, ‘Christian Democrats’ too German – its a problem. ‘Third Way’? Any suggestions?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        It’s got to have ‘global’ in it. Why not simply use the company name? The (Tony Blair Institute for) ‘Global Change….Party’

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Isn’t Gregory Campbell, the DUP Member for East Belfast?

    Didn’t he lead the Unionists out of the Derry City Council in 1984 to suit Thatcher because of its losing its Londomderry name. though he returned there soon afterwards, staying on until 2011. He had long left Foyle because of its nationalist persuasion for Antrim. as I recall, to get elected to the Commons.

    He loves public pay, and I can just see him hoiding some May post, and will move anywhere to get it.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Isn’t the DUP well connected to the Ulster Defnece Association which did much dirty work for the Crown, like when it had its John McMichael assassinate Briitsh IRA informer Steaknife aka DUKE in 1987 to suit Captain Simon Hayward, then being charged in a set-up of drug running in Sweden to take him out of circulation for the then unsolved murder of its PM Palme, but McMichael mistakenly shot taxi-driver Franisco Notorantonio and his wife.

      Later that year, McMicheal was taken out of circulation by being blown up.

  • reel guid

    In 2014 some 37% of Labour voters opted for Yes. Of the young Scots voting Labour because of the Corbyn factor a sizable percentage must support independence. The Scottish Lib Dem spring conference this year showed there are activists who openly support Yes. Then there are the Greens.

    There’s no actual evidence from these Westminster results that support for independence has been reduced. In fact the Tories are the only party in Scotland whose voters overwhelmingly back the union and they only managed to get 28.6% in the vote share.

    Sturgeon might be playing it cool for a wee while about a referendum. But once the brexit negotiation outcomes start becoming clear and people have experienced a bit of Tory/DUP coalition the situation will have moved on once again. We’ll see support for indyref2 strong and stable, to coin a phrase.

    • JOML

      I agree with your thoughts here, Reel guid. What we see in the media is pure spin. Undoubtedly, there’s opposition to another referendum but these people only got 24 seats, whereas those with an appetite for another referendum got 35 seats. What part of that is difficult to understand?

  • Ron Williams

    Laura Kuenssberg works for the BBC and is probably about the most anti-Conservative reporter there is. Incidentally, why is it alright for you to call people bigots and homophobic, but wrong for those who feel strongly enough to take a stand against homosexuality and lesbianism? It’s a funny old world.

    • Shatnersrug

      Because if you think like that then you don’t understand what it is to be gay, you are basing your opinions on prejudice.

      Gay people are not perverts, they’re normal people who fall in love and now get married and live happily ever after. They want a normal life some of them even vote Tory.

      Just like slavery the bible is wrong on this one, and the church will eventually come to understand that and change its interpretation.

      I don’t have any religious belief, but I support your right to believe whatever you wish, and I’d implore you to put aside your preconception and learn to understand that not everyone is like you, and actually that makes the world a fascinating place.

    • glenn_uk

      “Take a stand against homosexuality and lesbianism” ?

      Here’s news for you chief – if you don’t like gays, don’t date one. That’s as much of a “stand” as you need to take.

      Stupid bigot.

    • William James

      What do you mean anti-conservative? Have you made a mistake and got that comment backwards. She has continually made up lies, misinformation and fake news regarding Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party along with every person who works for the BBC. By this time next year I would like to see the Television Licence Fee being abolished. We cannot go into another election with such a corrupt UK media.

      • Ishmael

        “We cannot go into another election with such a corrupt UK media.” why not? Didn’t work so bad last time…

        I was just thinking about the zombies (and sorry but they are zombis) who consume it. And how useful they are to have “on side”so to speak.

    • Andrew Nichols

      What a strange parallel universe you must live in …with it’s own alter ego of the BBCs Laura Kuenssberg. I bet the Corbyn in that one is a real rightwing bastard.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the Tories won 13 seats, the most since 1983, and Margaret Thatcher, we all know what happened back then, Thatcher went on the rampage, it wasn’t a prosperous time for many Scots.

    The Tories haven’t changed, still obsessed with cuts, and austerity, and wasting billions on WMD’s, except now they’re determined to drag Scotland out of the EU, with the loss of a possible 80,000 jobs, higher prices lower wages, and pronounced austerity.

    So why would your average Scot vote for such a nasty party, knowing fine well, that Tory policies will hurt thousands of Scots, and leave their children in deeper poverty.

    One possible reason is that those people would rather see their fellow Scots, children included, suffer at the hands of a foreign government, rather than vote for a pro-Scots party.

    A vote for Labour in Scotland or the Libdems in Scotland amounts to the same thing. Independence will be the only way to break free from the traitors, (no other description for one who votes against the good of their country’s people) who don’t seem to care about the rape clause, or the persecution of the disabled or poor in Scotland as long as Scotland remains, partially under the thumb of Westminster rule.

    • Republicofscotland

      I’d like to add to my above comment, that not only are we fighting traitors within Scotland, and a foreign government, who controls the three unionist parties at Holyrood. The faithful are also up against a foreign media machine, spewing out anti-SNP, independence, propaganda 24/7.

      • reel guid

        Cheer up Ros.

        England returned about 530 Brexit supporting or resigned to Brexit MPs. Scotland returned a majority of anti-Brexit and pro-independence MPs.

        It might not have seemed like it but in this election Scotland has taken another step towards independence.

      • JOML

        RoS, despite all you mention, the SNP still won a solid majority of seats. Imagine a level playing field! It’s getting closer.

  • Tom74

    ‘Now the DUP are probably the most unpleasant bunch of individuals in organised politics in the UK.’
    That’s certainly saying something in a field that includes the Tories and UKIP (although perhaps UKIP are in the ‘disorganised politics’ category.?).
    I think May’s position is untenable and she will be gone quite soon. I can’t see the Tories sticking by someone who couldn’t even win the election she had herself called, nor the Tory press who were made to look extremely foolish by her abysmal performance.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    How will this change her negotiating stance with the EU? Is it still going to be a ‘We are going to bang the drum for Britain’ Brexit? Hope so, I’ve bought my drum.

  • reel guid

    It’ll be interesting to see if the more sensible Tory grandee John Major speaks out against the arrangement with the DUP.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The loathsome soi-disant Labour grandee Mandelson already has. And wasn’t Major plugging Remain alongside Blair in NI before the referendum?

      It’s all terribly confusing. Good.

  • fred

    Liberal Democrats are considering going to court over the result in North East Fife. There were several recounts which showed them winning till the last one which showed SNP two votes ahead.

    Of course LibDems would have won the seat easy if Nicola’s poodle Patrick hadn’t rolled over and not fielded a candidate.

    • reel guid

      The Lib Dems would have won the seat easily if Willie Rennie had supported a second indyref. But he didn’t.

      • JOML

        Yes, Reel guid – reminds me of the story – if the dog (poodle) didn’t stop for a shit, it would have caught the hare!
        I don’t know why Rennie or anyone fears a second referendum, unless they aren’t confident of winning. The “divisive” talk is nonsense, given the state the whole UK is in. A second referendum would be decisive, one way or the other – and the people have elected a majority of representatives who favour independence – in both Edinburgh and London.

        • reel guid

          Exactly JOML. The division is there from decades of Westminster misrule. And what could be more dangerous and truly divisive than preventing Scotland from making a democratic choice between membership of the UK or the EU?

  • Ayrshirelass

    Hoisted by their own petard was my thoughts about the conservative result.
    Yes they may have won seats in Scotland tfully supported and enabled by big money and big media . They also capitalised on thr Corbyn effect in Scotland which split the progressive vote. This is not about rising popularity in Scotland.
    But in their desperation to kneecap the SNP they have put themselves in an untenable position, Being dependent on a racist homophobic party is not a good look and wont go down well in Anglican England nor in those parts of Scotland which have been previously free of the sectarian poison such as the North East of Scotland.
    One thing is certain though. The Tories are most definitely not going to be able to a avoid proper scrutiny in Scotland now. That is long long overdue.

    • reel guid

      Lots of Scottish Tories would be very much at home in the DUP, as we’ve had abundant evidence of thanks to Wings Over Scotland. The Guardian etc will now be having plenty of reports on the nature of the DUP. But they’ll ignore Ruth Davidson’s Reprobates.

    • Shatnersrug

      They don’t even have a majority with the DUPes we’re in constitutional crisis territory and I’m feel very proud to be a part of the upset.

      • fred

        They need 326 seats for a majority, they have 218 seats and another one expected. DUP have 10 seats so they will probably have 329 seats, a majority of 4.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I’m looking forward to seeing the DUP working shifts in order to hop across to London and ensure a full Tory house on every Commons vote. Their constituents will probably suffer. And May imposing three-line whips on her own very fractious and generally annoyed party. On a greatly increased legislative load, once Brexit gets under way.

          Sooner or later the realisation may dawn that the shit we are now in is too deep for party politics to handle.

          • fred

            It could have been a lot worse. A Tory majority would have given them a mandate to privatise the health service and cut benefits, a Labour alliance with the SNP and LibDems would have been a disaster and I wouldn’t have trusted Labour to negotiate a decent Brexit deal.

            Maybe this was a good result.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Agree, with reservations. I think Labour’s version of Brexit would have been closer to the general consensus than the Tories’. While a unity government would be forced to get closer still. And a stake through Farage’s heart, in the shape of firm measures to control immigration, has yet to be fashioned. It may not be an issue in Thurso, but it sure is in Peterborough.

          • DLL

            Direct rule would mean that the DUP wouldn’t have to bother with the NI Assembly.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        On the sly, by the back door, and in disguise. And never forget who was the main enthusiast the PFI scheme, which continues to bleed us dry. Clue: he didn’t call himself a Tory.

    • MP

      Agreed.

      I see no disadvantage to the cause of independence in a minor resurgence of the Scottish branch offices of the main unionist parties at Westminster.

      As you said it will shine the bright light of scrutiny on their policies and performance in Scotland. And they will either have to become more and more Scotland focussed and detached from Westminster, which will be good for the body politic in Scotland, or they will be shown to be naught but lackeys of little England, or big business, which wil not help their credibility and surely reinforce the case for political independence for Scotland.

      The dangerous liaison between the UK tory party and the DUP is already showing signs of causing dissent and disagreement between the branch office and head office. I imagine these cracks and fissures will only widen as time goes by. These unionists will then have to decide where their true loyalty really lies.

      All in all, not a bad scenario!

  • gloria harkin

    have been having a rant since I heard about this proposed alliance. it is inciting a riot. hell mend the mad woman.

  • Sharp Ears

    The DUP are very Israel friendly.

    ‘May moves right

    Diminished and humiliated, May will hang on as prime minister for now. But unable to command a majority in the House of Commons on their own, the Conservatives will rely for support on the 10 lawmakers from the Democratic Unionist Party, a Christian Zionist group in Northern Ireland which pushes extreme pro-Israel policies.

    It also staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, a position that might make it more at home in America’s Bible Belt.

    This means that while the British electorate embraces more progressive policies, May is likely to hunker down and move even further to the right in defiance of public opinion, including the growing support for Palestinian rights.’

    Theresa May to be propped up by Christian Zionists
    9 June 2017
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/theresa-may-be-propped-christian-zionists

  • Leonard

    It turns out that it is the Tory candidate who is asking for a recount in Kensington, the last undeclared consituency. In other words the count has now twice been in favour of Labour. Third recount in a row in session now. Result imminent.

  • Jill Green

    It is quite extraordinary the levels this party can sink to. Or has she done this alone……the nasty party joins up with the even nastier party?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    So why has May decided upon a minority government?

    Suspect the Queen warmed of the risks with the DUP being part of it, and would not approve if May went ahead with it.

  • laguerre

    So kensington went in the end to labour. The Tories lost, even if Labour didn’t win. So how long will May be there? But who will be her successor? That’s a big problem.

  • David Martin

    I am no lover of the DUP but your comments about them are totally outrageous. It is completely untrue to describe them as, “the political wing of loyalist terrorism”. I would go so far as to describe your comments as verging on the libellous.
    You should either substantiate these comments or retract them.

    While you are at it you might want to take a look at Sinn Fein, a party which contains men who have actually been convicted of murder, a party which is full of apologists for the murderous IRA.
    You might also want to explain why it is that Roman Catholics are content to vote for such people in their tens of thousands yet when so called loyalists with similar backgrounds submit themselves to the electorate they never obtain anything other than the most derisory number of votes. You, sir, need to check your facts urgently.

  • Michael McNulty

    One plan for the Tory fightback might include funding and reinvigorating UKIP to try and take back the vote which went to Jeremy. It would only cost them ten or twenty million to put it back on track with a new leader which is small change to those crooks. And while those votes which went to Labour will probably stay Labour it could mean a new wave of nasty reactionary politics, false flags and Muslim blame.

  • Sharp Ears

    Solomon Hughes is a brilliant investigative journalist. His pieces are in the Morning Star, the Guardian and on Vice.com

    This is the latest on Vice.

    Revealed: The Tory Donor Whose Bank Got Caught in a Money Laundering Scandal
    Jun 8 2017
    Sir John Peace is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images)

    The former Chairman of a bank that was fined over $900 million for money laundering has helped to fund Theresa May’s election campaign.

    A key Tory backer is the former head of a bank that was fined hundreds of millions of dollars for laundering money via regimes that had sanctions imposed on them.

    Sir John Peace gave the Conservative Party £50,000 on the 10th of May to help their election campaign, making him what they call a “premier supporter”.

    This money entitles Peace to membership of the “Conservative Leaders Group”, a Tory fan club whose “Members are invited to join Theresa May and other senior figures from the Conservative Party at dinners”.

    Sixty-eight-year-old Sir John Peace was Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank from 2009 to December of 2016. He was Deputy Chairman from 2007 to 2009. London-based Standard Chartered Bank are not a well-known high street bank, but they are a big deal in the City. They are the 28th biggest company on the UK Stock Exchange, and make their money through big transactions in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
    /..
    https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/revealed-the-tory-donor-whose-bank-got-caught-in-a-money-laundering-scandal

  • Frank Kemp

    This election result is good news indeed for the SNP and Scottish Independence.

    The last one was a disaster for three reasons: 1.No hung parliament
    2.SNP humiliate Better Together with one seat each. 3.Tory government.

    This time we have a hung parliament but, more importantly, we have allies.

    Labour, LibDem, and DUP all support SNP demands for a soft Brexit with full
    market access.

    If this means full membership or EFTA is not so important. What is important
    is a discussion with our new allies of which option would be best.

    Suddenly we can have a discussion at Holyrood on the same topic with LibDem
    and Labour.

    SNP can’t win independence alone. We need allies.

  • John Monro

    Does anyone have a clue what’s going on in the UK now – the sh..ts hit the fan, that’s ok, that’s Newtonian physics, but the resulting spray is governed by chaos theory. The only thing thing to add to the chaos that UK needs now is for Sinn Fein to reverse its policy of not taking up their seven seats in Westminster, which will be enough to deprive May of her slim majority with the DUP, and the whole of the UK will be governed, for a very short time, by Northern Ireland. Oh, the irony!!

  • DLL

    Mr Brokenshire had previously set a deadline of 28 June 2017, for the Northern Ireland parties to come to a power-sharing agreement. The last assembly election came about this March because of the so-called ‘Renewable Heat Incentive scandal’, in which DUP members, advisers and their relatives personally benefited, which occured under Arelene Foster’s watch and led to the collapse of the previous power-sharing regime. So it’s deeply ironic that a party that caused the collapse of the previous executive due to its lack of leadership and proper oversight and is partly responsible for the continuing disagreements, will now come to some form of coalition agreement with the Conservatives, who have promised to institute direct rule over Northern Ireland if the parties can’t reach an agreement. If that is the case Sinn Fein may well decide to abandon their pledge of absenteeism from the House of Commons.

    Ironically, the snap election undercut the work of the Public Accounts Committee, who were investigating the matter where MLAs could take advantage of assembly privelege and name names without fear of libel as the Northern Ireland Assembly was dissolved on 26 January 2017. Curiously, Sinn Fein refused to vote in favour of calling for a public inquiry, and did not attend the debate (see wikispooks for some evidence as to Martin McGuinness working as an informant).

    As a tangent the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry sent its report to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on the 6 January 2017, with the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigning three days later.

    The Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry was announced in late January and is predicted to last at least six months, once up and running. The inquiry team includes Dame Una O’Brien who was the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health under the previous Conservative government and Andrew Browne, Patrick Butler and Joseph Aiken all worked at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

    The Police Service of Northern Ireland, in May, refused to comment on the scandal owing to ‘purdah’ rules and that the RHI inquiry had been set-up. The last comment to the media, 18 January, was that it was still considering whether to launch a criminal investigation. The RHI inquiry was then set in motion on the 24 January but has no power to rule on anyone’s criminal or civil liability.

    MLA Jonathan Bell has been suspended from the DUP for allegedly speaking to the press without permission.

    The party’s officers discussed what action to take against the former enterprise minister this weekend.

    On Thursday, Mr Bell appeared on BBC NI accusing DUP advisers of delaying his plans to close down the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

    However, the party has denied this and leader Arlene Foster has criticised Mr Bell over his handling of the matter.

    The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson said Mr Bell had been suspended without prejudice.

    “If you look at the DUP rules, Jonathan did not seek permission for the interview that he did,” he said.

    “He did not tell the party in advance what he was doing and that’s not the way that most political parties operate.”

    Mr Bell told the BBC that top advisers from his DUP party stopped him from restricting the RHI scheme.

    According to Mr Bell, the advisers, who deny the allegations against them, secretly tried to “cleanse the record” of references to Mrs Foster.

    Those alleged attempts to alter the papers were made “without my knowledge, without my consent”, Mr Bell said, and were revealed to him by a senior civil servant at the department.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38356889

    In what will be one of the final pieces of business before the Assembly is dissolved next Wednesday for elections, an Opposition motion calling for an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 was passed with not a single dissenting vote.

    However, Sinn Fein – the only party in the Assembly to still oppose the most rigorous form of inquiry possible under UK law – boycotted the debate and did not vote, even though the party was in the chamber for later business,

    A week ago, Arlene Foster said that she would set up a full public inquiry within 24 hours, but there is still no progress on that front.

    But Northern Ireland’s MLAs from across the political spectrum were united in calling on the Secretary of State James Brokenshire, to set up the public inquiry.

    Speaking in Parliament Mr Brokenshire indicated that he may do so if there was evidence of “cross-community” support – something which had been demonstrated at Stormont just an hour before he addressed the Commons.

    Yesterday in the Assembly the veteran Foyle MLA and former journalist Eamonn McCann alleged that the RHI scheme had not been “flawed” but had in fact been deliberately set up in a way that enabled it to be abused.

    He said: “The reason why nobody spotted the flaw is that there was no flaw in the system. There was no flaw at all. This was deliberate, and it was conscious.

    “Apparently, we cannot accuse people of criminality, fraud and all the rest of it. I do not accuse any individual of being a criminal or a fraudster; what I say is this: it is a flat fact that there was criminality and fraud.”

    ————————————————————————————–

    Asked last week about an RHI issue, detective chief superintendent Tim Mairs said: “As the RHI public inquiry has now commenced, and as we are also in a period of purdah, the PSNI will not be commenting any further on this matter.”

    SDLP South Belfast assembly member Claire Hanna questioned the PSNI’s stance.

    “It is very curious that the PSNI is refusing to comment on the RHI, using purdah as an excuse,” she said.

    “This should be no impediment to a criminal investigation, especially as this is a Westminster election and RHI happened under the assembly’s watch.

    “Yet another election can’t be a reason to block transparency and scrutiny, and the PSNI should not be avoiding comment to spare political blushes.”

    ————————————————————————————–

    The UK’s energy watchdog has suspended a member of staff over the leaking of a list of names of groups who claimed funding from the botched Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) scheme.

    The Belfast Telegraph understands Ofgem is investigating the leak and has reprimanded an employee.

    In February, the BBC broadcaster Stephen Nolan revealed he had been given the full list of the 1,946 businesses claiming from the seriously flawed green energy scheme.

    He was threatened with legal action from boiler owners to prevent its publication.

    Mr Nolan refused to publish the list, saying he “respected the judiciary”. A court order was in also place at the time banning the Government from publishing the names.

    The PSNI is investigating the leak and is expected to speak to Mr Nolan.

    However, the police declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

    Ofgem, which regulates the gas and electricity markets, was appointed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) to administer the scheme for a cost of £1.5m.

    Asked about the investigation and the suspension, a spokesman for the body said: “We do not comment on staffing issues.”

    The UK’s data protection watchdog will also be probing how the list of names got into the hands of the BBC.

    A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office said: “We’ve received complaints involving the RHI scheme and will be making enquiries.”

    ————————————————————————————–

    The RHI Inquiry, like all public inquiries, is not a trial of any particular body or individual. Section 2 of the 2005 Act specifically says that: “An inquiry panel is not to rule on, and has no power to determine, any person’s civil or criminal liability.”

    A public inquiry has to carry out the tasks required by its Terms of Reference. It cannot go outside them, or beyond them. That being said, it is up to every public inquiry to interpret its own Terms of Reference, and then to explain to the public what the Inquiry considers is required of it. This Inquiry will publish further information on this issue in due course.

    The RHI Inquiry will hold its public hearings in the Senate Chamber of Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

    The Inquiry recognises that the Stormont Estate may be viewed as the seat of government, and therefore associated with many politicians and officials, some of whom are likely to fall within the ambit of the Inquiry’s investigation.

    Sometimes, for legal reasons, it may be necessary for evidence to be heard in a closed session. This means that only legal representatives and the Chair and Panel members may be present when a witness is giving evidence.

  • fwl

    The wider public were prepared to vote for Labour for many reasons, but part of the matrix was the putting of substance and ideas above slick form and negative attacks. The party should not arrogantly take support for granted and start purging and demanding hard left uniformity, nor should it try to develop any personality cult.

    Simply by reading these pages I have noticed Craig complain about SNP uniformity and intolerance of dissent (and not supporting his wish fir a seat) whilst I have heard Scots explaining ceasing to vote SNP because it was becoming too controlling, centralist and focused on its leader.

    In other words Labour must keep its members pissing in its tent and not outside.

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