A whisteblowing DUP councillor in the eye of the storm over a BBC Spotlight investigation is to get a public apology from Stephen Brimstone (special advisor to DSD Minister Nelson McCausland).
Jenny Palmer (pictured above) who is a councillor in the city of Lisburn is also a member of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Board.
During the BBC Spotlight special into the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s contracts – Ms Palmer alleged that two years ago she had received a phone call from DUP minister Nelson McCausland’s special adviser, Stephen Brimstone, regarding an important vote for a contract at a key board meeting.
Ms Palmer claimed that she was being pressurised into acting in a certain way.
She stated that Nelson McCausland’s SPAD, Brimstone told her that: “he needed me to basically go against the decision of the board on the extension of the contract for Red Sky. I said to him: I don’t think I can do that.” She added: “He said: The party comes first – you do what you’re told, otherwise there is no point in [you]being on the board, if I wasn’t prepared to do what they asked me to do.”
Mr Brimstone denied Jenny Palmer’s account of the telephone conversation.
Ms Palmer who is not regarded as a wilting violet quickly confirmed on Twitter that she welcomed the support of MP Jeffrey Donaldson and MLA Edwin Poots as she found herself in the eye of the Spotlight storm.
In fact the accused woman received over 1500 messages of support for her whistleblowing from all over the world, from as far away as Thailand.
Last week before heading to America on holidays Peter Robinson and Stephen Brimstone had a meeting with Jenny Palmer. She was accompanied by Jeffrey Donaldson MP.
Following that meeting it was agreed that Ms Palmer would get a public apology from Mr Brimstone, which will underscore her integrity.
I am told when Councillor Palmer went to shake hands with Mr Robinson at the end of the meeting – he chose to give her a hug.
Drafts of Mr Brimstone’s apology are now being exchanged, the purpose of which is to completely vindicate Ms Palmer’s version of events.