DUP leader Arlene Foster has said that Executive Ministers are not responsible for any wrongdoing by special advisers.
Speaking as she formally lodged her nomination papers for the snap Assembly election, the former First Minister said that even if a public inquiry finds that special advisers acted improperly, the buck does not fall with the Minister.
Stating that she was happy that a public inquiry had finally been set in motion, Ms Foster turned the attention to Sinn Féin’s new leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill.
She pointed out that 58 RHI information seminars on for farmers had been organised by the Department of Agriculture when she was minister.
Retired appeal court judge Sir Patrick Coghlin will chair the public inquiry into the flawed RHI scheme, which could cost the public purse £490m.
Expected to report within six months, the retired judge will begin gathering papers on February 1.
“I certainly don’t fear a public inquiry,” said the DUP leader. “My integrity is intact, I have done nothing wrong and that will be shown.”