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Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:41 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 2:41 pm, 5th November 2019

I will do whatever I can, within the constraints of the purdah period, to update right hon. and hon. Members and the public.

My right hon. Friend Karen Bradley referred to the fact that this legislation is the most robust basis for the redress scheme and the commissioner. That is worth reiterating. It would not be on as sound a footing if we had not got what we hoped to get today, so she is absolutely right. She is also right to point to the fact that hopefully after the election we can get the Executive and the Assembly going, because that is the best place to do all NI legislation.

Emma Little Pengelly was very clear about how productive the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Executive had been around the time of the Hart report, and on other issues. That period gives us all hope that we will get back to a position where we will restore the Executive and the Assembly.

My hon. Friend Sir Peter Bottomley made an extremely valid point. It is something I was worrying about last night as I re-read parts of the report. There are many, many people of different ages—people who may not have been in care but may have been abused in other settings—who will no doubt be the subject of reports going forward.

I thank all colleagues for all their kind remarks, and again pay tribute to the victims’ groups who are sitting here today. They may have missed their current flights, but we have arranged for them to be able to go later. I hope we will all be able to celebrate with them shortly.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Motion made and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 63(2), That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House.—(Maggie Throup.)

Bill considered in Committee.

[Dame Rosie Winterton in the Chair]

Clauses 1 to 34 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedules 1 and 2 agreed to.

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.

Bill reported, without amendment.

Third Reading