Engagements

Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 24th April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

I have been asked to reply on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, who is today in Belfast attending the funeral of Lyra McKee. This was a brutal, cowardly murder of a young woman, a brilliant journalist, who represented all that is good in Northern Ireland. Those responsible for her murder have nothing to offer anyone from any community in Northern Ireland. I am sure that Members right across the House will want to join me in sending our deepest sympathies to Lyra’s partner Sara, her other family members and her friends. As her family have asked, we today say that we stand with Lyra. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]

The attack on three Christian churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday was a horrific and cowardly act. The House will know that a number of British citizens were killed. Yesterday, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister spoke to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to send her condolences to all affected and to offer his Government any assistance they may need. I am sure the whole House will want to join me in sending sympathy and condolences to all who were caught in that horrific attack, but I hope, too, that the House will perhaps reflect on the fact that that atrocity, committed on Easter Sunday, came just a couple of weeks after an equally brutal and appalling attack in Christchurch, New Zealand upon the Muslim community worshipping there. As we stand today between Easter and, next week, the beginning of the solemn month of Ramadan for our Muslim fellow citizens, I hope that this will be a time for not just Members, but all our fellow citizens of all faiths and none, to come together and stand up for the values of mutual respect, tolerance and religious diversity, which embody what is best about our country.