TUV leader Jim Allister has written to the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service requesting an investigation into the behaviour of the Special Adviser to the Minister for Social Development, Stephen Brimstone.
The texts of Mr Allister’s letter is below.
Dr Malcolm McKibbin
Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service
4th July 2013
Dear Dr McKibbin,
Re Special Adviser to the Minister for Social Development
As you are doubtless aware BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme broadcast extremely serious allegations against the Special Adviser to the Minister for Social Development, Stephen Brimstone.
I formally request that you view the programme and investigate if Mr Brimstone breeched sections 5 and 6 of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers which states:
5. Special Advisers should conduct themselves with integrity and honesty. …
6. Special Advisers should not use official resources for party political activity. They are employed to serve the objectives of the Administration and the Department in which they work. It is this which justifies their being paid from public funds and being able to use public resources, and explains why their participation in party politics is clearly limited. They should act in a way which upholds the political impartiality of civil servants. They should avoid anything which might reasonable lead to the criticism that people paid from public funds are being used for party political purposes.
It appears clear to me that if the allegations against Mr Brimstone are correct, and given the source it seems highly unlikely that they are not, then he breached the Code and should be removed from his post immediately.
I would be obliged if you could investigate this matter and return to me. Given the serious nature of the allegations it is important that the matter is dealt with swiftly and without any suggestion of political interference.