DUP leader Arlene Foster has held a series of one-to-one meetings with her MLAs to ask for their loyalty amid intense scrutiny over her role in the RHI scandal, it has been claimed.

A senior DUP figure told the BBC’s Nolan Show the meetings occurred in the past few weeks and that the objective of the meetings was a “loyalty check card”.

However, the DUP rejected this and said the meetings were part of a policy development exercise and were not unusual.

The source also said Mrs Foster asked the MLAs their opinions on the future of the party and what impact the RHI scandal is having on the ground.

In a statement to the Nolan Show the DUP said: “The DUP leader met with all MLA colleagues as part of an ongoing internal policy development process prior to meetings with the government. This is not the first time this has happened and MLAs were not asked the question which you suggest.”

The DUP source told the Nolan Show that Mrs Foster is in a “dark place” because of the RHI scandal that has engulfed the DUP and that it was “50/50” she will continue as leader of the party.

Mr Nolan said a number of senior figures within the party had made similar claims.

Political commentator Alex Kane said he “wasn’t surprised” at the claim.

Mrs Foster was Minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) when the RHI scheme was launched.

The botched green energy scheme allowed people to make significant profits due to subsidies being set at a higher rate than the cost of fuel.

Mrs Foster has denied any wrong-doing over the scandal.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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