Bid to 'remove Foster from RHI emails'
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RHI scandal: Bell claims DUP advisers 'tried to remove Arlene Foster's name from emails'

Former Stormont minister Jonathan Bell has claimed that DUP advisers tried to "cleanse the record" by removing all references to First Minister Arlene Foster and her department on emails linked to the "cash for ash" scandal.

Mrs Foster is facing questions over the botched Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which is set to cost Northern Ireland taxpayers £400m.

Mr Bell was speaking to BBC presenter Stephen Nolan.

In a later response to his allegations, Mrs Foster said Mr Bell decided in late January that he would close the RHI scheme in March, but that she told him that a March deadline was too late, given the problems with the scheme.

She claimed that Mr Bell then issued a public statement saying the scheme was to close immediately, and that he became angry when she explained it would have to remain open for two weeks - until mid February - to prevent legal challenges from applicants who had already invested in new heating equipment.

Mrs Foster said she was only aware of one change to RHI documentation, in which a reference to a consultation with her own department was removed from Mr Bell's draft submission to close the scheme in March.

  • 15 Dec 2016
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