John McPeake, head of the Housing Executive, says an Audit Office report into bogus repair work by contractors is 'a stain on the record' of his organisation. However the stain spreads wider than that. Documents obtained by The Detail website show that when the Hosuing Executive cancelled a £7 million deal with one of the contractors, east Belfast-based Red Sky, DUP politicians including housing minister Nelson McCausland and first minister Peter Robinson accused it of 'sectarian bias' and lobbied frantically to have the contract restored.
Will Haire, the top civil servant in Mr McCausland's department, took his minister's side and relations soured so completely that Mr McPeake's predecessor resigned.
We await stain-removing remarks from the DUP, the Department of Social Development and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.