Northern Ireland

Alliance 'victory' over Northern Ireland political donations

Naomi Long
Image caption Naomi Long said the move was a good first step towards full transparency

The Alliance Party has said it has secured a victory on making Northern Ireland's political donation process more transparent.

Currently, donations over £7,500 from a single source to a political party are made public in the rest of the UK.

However, in Northern Ireland the information is not published due to concerns about the security risk.

Alliance Party MP Naomi Long said that from January permanent anonymity for large donors will come to an end.

"They will not be published immediately, but when the secretary of state reviews the situation with security and removes the exemption, any donation made after January 2014 will be subject to publication," she said.

"I think that clarifies first of all for donors that there will be no permanent anonymity for new donations.

"I think it also clarifies for the public that we are moving now in a tangible way towards full transparency which is obviously what I would like to see.

"I think this is a good first step in terms of moving in that direction."

The change came after the government tabled an amendment to the Northern Ireland Miscellaneous Provisions Bill.

Mrs Long said the amendment was the same as one she proposed at an earlier stage of the bill.

The next review of the security exemption for donors is due in October 2014.

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