Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:09 pm on 24th October 2018.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning Conservative, Hemel Hempstead 3:09 pm, 24th October 2018

I will expand more on this in my speech, but this is a critical point to do with the civil service. We can all criticise civil servants. There are good ones and bad ones. But, particularly in Northern Ireland—I experienced this when I was the Minister—the fear of judicial review in the civil service will not be addressed by the Bill. Bravery is fine, but if this Government do not back civil servants, there will still be fears, not about public opinion, but about whether they will be dragged through the courts, which we have seen so many times in the Province.