Probe urged into Leo’s ‘spin’ centre
SIPO, the standards in public office watchdog has been asked to decide whether a PR unit set up by the Taoiseach with public funds is partypolitical in nature.
Budget 2018 conferred €5million on the new Strategic Communications Unit (SCU), with the Taoiseach admitting he personally approached its head, John Concannon, about his appointment.
Struggling Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin says he has asked SIPO to clarify two points about the new body.
Among the issues he wants clarified is whether or not a significant quantity of new social media advertising by the Taoiseach’s Department amounts to an improper use of public funds for political purposes.
‘All Opposition parties have united in condemnation of the creation of this spin unit in the Taoiseach’s Department,’ he said.
The Taoiseach continues to argue that this will be cost neutral, he said, ‘but an allocation of €5m to this area means some other area of public spending is being denied those resources’.