This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Following calls by Naomi Long for the Secretary of State to hold a Public Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 in relation to allegations of political interference in the work of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, an NIO spokesperson has confirmed:
Northern Ireland Executive Ministers already have powers under the Inquiries Act 2005 to hold public inquiries into devolved matters . The approval of the Secretary of State is only required if a public inquiry is to cover the period of direct rule or a period when the Assembly was suspended. It is therefore a matter for Northern Ireland Ministers as to whether a public inquiry would be appropriate in this case.