Northern Ireland

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 12:40 pm on 16th July 2013.

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Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance, Belfast East 12:40 pm, 16th July 2013

I join the Secretary of State in condemning those engaged in violence, whether in seeking to breach a determination or in attacking lawful parades, thereby providing a further challenge to the rule of law and causing further damage to Northern Ireland’s reputation. I also extend my best wishes to Mr Dodds.

My primary concern is both for my constituents living in the areas affected—on the Newtonards road and in the Short Strand—whose lives are put at risk, who are terrified in their homes and whose neighbourhoods are left like war zones in the aftermath of these riots, and for the police who must protect the public and uphold the law in difficult circumstances. Does the Secretary of State agree that until such time as an agreement on an alternative to the Parades Commission is agreed by all parties in Northern Ireland, that body remains the lawful authority in these matters and that its rulings must be upheld—no ifs, no buts—if law and order is not to be undermined more generally?