Press release

Time to shine a light on cash in politics

18 October 2012

Friends of the Earth today released a new briefing demanding the right to know who funds Northern Ireland's politicians.

The document is the latest statement made by the environmental pressure group as part of its Who Pulls the Strings campaign. The briefing makes the case for openness in political funding, and challenges the arguments for continued secrecy.

A list of major donors to political parties is held by the Electoral Commission, but it is currently kept secret from ordinary citizens. Who pulls the Strings calls for that list to be made open to the public.

Friends of the Earth's Director, James Orr, said:

"Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK or Ireland where you cannot find out who is giving game-changing cash to politicians, and the murky world of party financing needs to be brought into the light of day.  If we cannot see who is funding our politicians, we cannot judge whether they are working in our interests, or in those of their donors."

He continued :

"Whether the donor is a gas drilling corporation, a big supermarket chain, a quarry operator, a religious pressure group, or just a rich individual with a particular agenda it's time to shine a light on how they may be affecting decision-making Northern Ireland.  We believe that a fundamental obstacle to making the planning system fair for embattled communities is the secrecy and lack of transparency surrounding how money influences power."

You can download a PDF of this new policy document by Friends of the Earth at


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Published by Friends of the Earth Limited