by PA Reporter
A former Stormont minister has begun giving evidence to a public inquiry into a botched green energy scheme which led to the collapse of political powersharing in Northern Ireland.
Jonathan Bell made explosive claims that Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) special advisers sought to frustrate the introduction of cost controls in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.
He was minister at the Enterprise Department which oversaw the publicly-funded project's design and introduction.
It was intended to encourage businesses to switch from fossil fuels to green alternatives like biomass.
By the summer of 2015 the cost to the taxpayer was beginning to spiral as firms realised how lucrative the incentives on offer were.
Sinn Fein pulled out of devolved powersharing with the DUP following Mr Bell's serious allegations and repeated efforts to resurrect the institutions have been unsuccessful.