Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:12 pm on 24th October 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 1:12 pm, 24th October 2018

This is a matter that I know the hon. Lady feels very deeply about, and it is the subject of one of the amendments tabled by my hon. Friend Dr Murrison, the Chair of the Select Committee. The difficulty with the Hart recommendations, as the hon. Lady knows, is that they were laid after the Executive had collapsed, and that means we have no ministerial direction on which of the recommendations have cross-party support and which do not. Although, from my discussions with parties, it is clear that everybody wants some action to be taken, it is not clear that there is a consensus in favour of every recommendation. However, I am sure the hon. Lady will be relieved to know that the David Sterling has written to me to say that he would like to consult on the recommendations, and I have thanked him for the fact that he is going to do so, because that is something that he can do as a civil servant. Even if he cannot make the final decision on which of the recommendations should be accepted, he can consult on how those recommendations would be implemented, and I welcome that decision.