Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist MLA for East Antrim, has called on Sammy Wilson MP to explain why he nominated Frank Cushnahan to the NAMA NI Advisory Board and facilitated a meeting at Stormont between the NAMA Advisory Committee insider and the US company PIMCO, who were trying to buy the Northern Ireland NAMA portfolio.
Roy Beggs said:
“Sammy Wilson MP and the then DUP leader, Peter Robinson, need to explain their participation in a meeting at Stormont in May 2013, with the NAMA NI Advisory Board representative, Frank Cushnahan - whom the DUP minister nominated, and PIMCO a potential buyer of the NAMA portfolio. The NAMA advisory committee member would have had an actual or a potential conflict of interest in participating in a meeting with a potential bidder for the portfolio valued at over one billion pounds.
“It should have been obvious to any Minister that it would be inappropriate to facilitate and participate in a meeting between a potential buyer and someone who would have NAMA inside information. There has been a complete lack of transparency from Sammy Wilson and I would like to know if he retains the full confidence of Arlene Foster who has yet to make clear where she stands on her colleagues' actions.
“Many ordinary citizens have suffered losses and negative equity as a result of the huge drop in the property market since 2008. Why was the former DUP First Minister so concerned that the millionaire property developers who contributed to the property bubble should not suffer personal loss and that they should be protected from their £200m loan guarantees which were not to be pursued?
“The DUP, Peter Robinson and Sammy Wilson MP have questions to answer. I hope that investigations in Stormont, Dublin and those involving the National Crime Agency and the US agencies will quickly get to the bottom of this sordid affair and hold all who have acted inappropriately to account.
“Whilst potential crime is being investigated, there is clearly a need for greater transparency and scrutiny of political actions by Ministers to establish whether they acted appropriately and in the public interest or not.”