Lisburn councillors have spoken out in support of their council colleague Jenny Palmer, after it was revealed that the DUP intended to discipline her for “bringing the party into disrepute”.
It was revealed last week that the DUP had written to Mrs Palmer asking her to appear before a disciplinary panel after she made allegations against Stephen Brimstone, the special advisor to Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland, accusing him of putting pressure on her to change her vote at a meeting of the Housing Executive Board.
Lisburn Councillors have rallied to Mrs Palmer’s side, with one calling her “a shining light” in politics.
DUP Councillor, Luke Poots, took to Facebook to show his support for Mrs Palmer. “Time this matter was resolved for good in an amicable way,” said Mr Poots. “Jenny is a good friend and valued member of our party. I’ve seen first hand her hard work in the constituency and her husband John’s.”
Ulster Unionist Councillor Alexander Redpath hit out at the DUP for taking disciplinary action against Mrs Palmer.
“It’s disgraceful that the DUP are considering disciplining someone who’s only crime was telling the truth,” said Mr Redpath.
“Jenny Palmer did the whole of Northern Ireland a service by exposing how business was transacted in the Department for Social Development. “These allegations of inappropriate behaviour are still being investigated but progress has been thwarted by the refusal of the DUP Minister to provide proper disclosure to the inquiry.
“I would urge the DUP to come clean, co-operate with the inquiry and drop these ridiculous proceedings against Councillor Palmer.”
SDLP Councillor Pat Catney praised Mrs Palmer for her courage in standing up to her own party. “I think she’s an absolutely courageous woman,” he said. “
“Some times political pressure is brought to bear but if you can hold your integrity that is what makes you a shining star. I think she is very honest and have to acknowledge that. She is a shining light in politics.”
Alliance Councillor Aaron McIntyre has been a strong supporter of Mrs Palmer, recognising the hard work she does for her constituents.
“The news that Councillor Jenny Palmer is to be brought before an internal DUP discipline committee is disappointing, especially when Jenny was previously informed that she would be issued with an apology,” he said.
“Regardless of party politics Jenny works hard on the ground and I commend her for standing up and for exposing the truth.”