CAI full statement to ITV News.
Having seen just how far Mr Blair’s public consultation has been promoted through paid advertising around the world, questions and concerns are already being raised by the public as to how the views of the people of Northern Ireland can be distinguished from the rest of the world.
When challenged John Blair told a member of the public “Every effort has been made by my Team to ensure the consultation has been promoted solely in Northern Ireland e.g. we have only sent our press release to local media sources. Once the consultation closes on Friday evening, a vetting process will be conducted to remove consultation responses which are evidently from outside of Northern Ireland. Again, the Northern Ireland Assembly Bills Team have been consulted on this.”
John himself knowingly shared at least one Facebook post from outside Northern Ireland highlighting his campaign. This admission further demonstrates the weaknesses and raises serious concerns around the validity of this consultation.
Now is the time to contact your local MLAs and tell them not to support this Private Members Bill if introduced.
A similar issue arose in wales of the 12,706 signatures, only 1,487 had Welsh postcodes, representing less than 0.05% of the Welsh population. Furthermore, almost 1,000 signatures were addressed from outside of the UK.