Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“In May 2007, following the appointment of Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson to the Privy Council, the DUPboasted that this would mean they would have access to secret intelligence on the IRA and loyalist paramilitaries from MI5 and other security agencies.
“In the eight years since the DUP has had nothing to say about either the IRA’s existence or its activity. If the Chief Constable and the Secretary of State knew the IRA still existed, then, mustn’t DUP Privy Councillors, who claim briefings by MI5, have also known? So, why did they cover it up? Is the surprise now professed mere surprise that that which has been concealed has come to light, disturbing their place in government with the political wing of the IRA?
“The DUP having made great play of their inside track on intelligence must now explain themselves and explain why in April 2012 Mr Donaldson gave the IRA a clean bill of health?
“Given the events of recent weeks therefore a question obviously arises – just what did the DUP Privy Councillors know about the continued existence of the IRA, its command structure and its access to guns?
“Were the DUP conned in 2007 when they believed that membership of the Privy Council would enable them to make a judgement on the IRA or have they kept their knowledge under wraps for the sake of political office?
“If the DUP were conned over what they would know through membership of the Privy Council – which in 2007 they claimed would give them access to additional information to that available through IMC reports – why should they have confidence in a reheated IMC?”