Deidre Brock MP has called for all donors to parties in Northern Ireland during the EU referendum to be open to public scrutiny.
Deidre is the SNP's spokesperson on Northern Ireland and also sits on the committee tasked with scrutinising the secondary legislation being introduced today.
"Transparency over donations to political parties in Northern Ireland was supposed to come into line with the arrangements in the rest of the UK in 2010, then in 2013, then in 2014, with an understanding that anonymity would end.
"The rules that the UK Government is seeking to apply today puts the date at July 1st of this year, leaving secrecy around donations such as the controversial £435,000 to the DUP during the Brexit campaign.
"Openness in political donations is long overdue for Northern Ireland, so I welcome the move to bring an end to anonymity - but applying it from 2017 looks like a cover-up. We have a right to know where the funds that are used in elections came from – and where the funds that affected our membership of the EU came from.
"Donors have been well aware that their names and donations would become known in the future, so the rules should apply at least from January 2014. Trying to put a late start date on it raises a lot of questions about what they want to hide, what they wanted to keep secret in 2010 and what they want to keep secret now.
"There is already far too much that is hidden - far too much that has a cloak of darkness pulled over it.
"We need transparency to apply from January 2014 as a minimum - I can't support the passing of this order as it stands."
Deidre sits on the Third Delegated Legislation Committee which is considering the Draft Transparency of Donations and Loans etc. (Northern Ireland Political Parties) Order 2018
More on the controversial £435,000 donation to the DUP: https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brexitinc/adam-ramsay-mary-fitzgerald/why-is-northern-ireland-office-protecting-dups-dirty-little
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