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Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 Section 3(5)

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 7:21 pm on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 7:21 pm, 16th October 2019

That is important, because the House will address some substantive issues tonight and we need answers.

The Minister rightly said it is now over 1,000 days since the Stormont Assembly and the Stormont Executive last functioned, which is outrageous. It is almost unrecognisable in terms of modern democratic governance.

If not for other factors, I would be talking tonight about the failure of the political system to reform the education of our young people in Northern Ireland. I would be talking about the failure to reform the health service, and the fact that the Bengoa report is now receding dramatically in the rear-view mirror of life. That is, quite frankly, tragic because it is letting down patients, as the health service in Northern Ireland now sees increasing waiting lists and other things that are unacceptable.

Mental health provision in Northern Ireland is grossly inadequate. If there is one statistic that ought to frighten Members on both sides of the House, it is that more people have died since the troubles through suicide than died during the troubles—that figure is dramatic but true. It is immeasurably sad, and we ought to dwell on that. It is a failure of politicians of all stripes in Northern Ireland.