Extension of period for forming an Executive

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence) 6:30 pm, 9th July 2019

That is indeed correct. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his intervention, although it was not the permanent under-secretary at the Northern Ireland Office but the head of the civil service in Northern Ireland. Where the issue arises, the Northern Ireland Office does attend, but it has no involvement in the issues that matter most.

I want to put on record my disappointment yet again with the contribution from the shadow Secretary of State, Tony Lloyd. When considering amendment 19, he accepted that there was no moral equivalence between a terrorist and a victim, but when faced with an amendment that he could support this evening, rather than saying, “I accept there is no moral equivalence and therefore I am going to do something about it,” what was his response? He said that the victims wanted to “move on”. I think there is an opportunity for the shadow Secretary of State to reflect on that, given the comments that were made yesterday in this Chamber about the partisan nature of amendments that were considered in the earlier debate. Given Labour Members’ previous commitment always to play a constructive role when dealing with sensitive issues in Northern Ireland, they have doubled down this evening. That is hugely regrettable, and it is worthy of consideration and further reflection.