Point of Order

Comptroller and Auditor General – in the House of Commons at 3:14 pm on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 3:14 pm, 6th March 2019

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Before I proceed to the main business, I wish to clarify the comments I made earlier today to the House during Northern Ireland questions in response to a question raised by Emma Little Pengelly, which I believe may have been open to misinterpretation.

At oral questions, I referred to deaths during the troubles caused by members of the security forces. The point I was seeking to convey was that the overwhelming majority of those who served carried out their duties with courage, professionalism, integrity and within the law. I was not referring to any specific cases, but expressing a general view. Of course, where there is evidence of wrongdoing it should always be investigated, whoever is responsible. These are of course matters for the police and prosecuting authorities who are independent of government.

Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Further to that point of order, Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I thank the Secretary of State for her gracious clarification of her position. Will she take this opportunity to recognise that confidence in the judicial process is fundamental to all communities and all people across Northern Ireland? For those reasons, her clarification that those who have committed criminal offences will face the justice process is important and it emphasises the need to move on quickly with the legacy commitments brought about by the 2014 Stormont House agreement.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Deputy Speaker (Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

I thank the Secretary of State for her point of order and for giving me advance notice of her intention to make it. I am sure the fact that she has come to the House very quickly to make that clarification will be appreciated. I also understand the point made by the Opposition spokesman. I do not want to reopen the debate we had earlier. The point of order has been noted and the Secretary of State has made her clarification.