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Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:39 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport) 2:39 pm, 5th November 2019

When the Secretary of State made his poignant remarks to the House today, he quoted from Corinthians on the views and perspective of a child—what children see. The beginning of that chapter says that faith is so powerful that it can move mountains, but without charity, compassion and love, it is nothing. This House today, through the actions of this Government that have been brought here, has demonstrated that through compassion it has been able to move bureaucratic mountains. It has been able to move those things that stood in the way, and it is not as nothing; today this House is something. It has done something incredibly powerful and incredibly important for victims across Northern Ireland, those here on the mainland, and, indeed, those who are located across the world as a result of the abuse that took place in these locations in Northern Ireland.

It is important that the Secretary of State is able to set out, and this legislation sets out, the schedule of when moneys will be paid, because that is a practical issue. It is also important that we make sure that help is given to the victims’ groups going forward from now on, because they have been brought to the top of the mountain. Today is, if I can use the word appropriately, an exciting day in that they have now achieved this, but there will then be the cliff edge of what happens next. Those victims’ groups will have to be wrapped in compassion, charity, help and assistance so that they can then move to the next phase of this, because it is not going to end very quickly. There will probably now be a process put in place, and it is important that practical help is given to take the groups through that to make sure that they can get the other end of this as quickly and expeditiously as possible. I hope that we will see that. I hope that we mark this very poignant and historic day with an appropriate mark of respect and an appropriate celebration that this House is not as nothing; it has achieved something today.