A former DUP special adviser to Arlene Foster has denied senior civil servant David Sterling accused him of keeping the RHI scheme open “for the benefit of his family” – or that the two had a row over the matter.

Dr Andrew Crawford, giving evidence on Friday morning, refuted evidence given to the the RHI inquiry by former Stormont Minister Jonathan Bell who said Mr Sterling had a “loud altercation” with Dr Crawford in September 2015.

Mr Bell claimed that Mr Sterling accused him of plotting to keep the scheme open because his brother and two cousins were part of the RHI scheme.

Dr Crawford said: “I welcome the opportunity to address this because it was widely reported in the media. I worked with David Sterling both in DETI and DFP [Department of Finance and Personnel] when I was adviser and he was permanent secretary and at no stage did we have loud altercations or rows or anything else.”

Dr Crawford also rejected a suggestion by inquiry chair Sir Patrick Coghlin that a suggested amendment he made to cost controls in the Summer of 2015 was a “sales pitch for Moy Park”.

Read how Dr Crawford’s evidence unfolded here:


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