Photo of Hywel Francis

Hywel Francis (Aberavon, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with external bodies on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Hugo Swire

Hugo Swire (The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office; East Devon, Conservative)

Ministers and officials have continued to discuss this issue with political parties and human rights groups. In November the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend Mr Paterson, and I met the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights to discuss a range of human rights issues relating to Northern Ireland, including a Bill of Rights.

Our position remains that we want to see progress on this issue on the basis of consensus within Northern Ireland.

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