Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:29 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Emma Little Pengelly Emma Little Pengelly Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Trade) 2:29 pm, 5th November 2019

I am so very glad that we are here today and that we are getting to the final stage of this process. It has been a battle throughout, not least for the many victims and survivors of this terrible abuse. It has even been a battle just to get this legislation through the House today, and I pay tribute to everybody who has worked incredibly hard to get us to this point. My colleagues and I, other parties, the victims and others across Northern Ireland have lobbied incredibly hard to get this legislation through, and I am really grateful and glad that we have been able to achieve that. At times we expressed frustration and anger that these provisions were potentially not going to go through the House, but the Secretary of State did his best and succeeded, and we see the evidence of that today. This Bill will go through the House in exceptional circumstances, with so many people across so many different elements of the system having worked to make this happen, and I am so very glad—not for us, but for the victims and survivors of this dreadful abuse.

I am glad that those who have suffered through this process will be able to see the genuine care and empathy of all Members who have spoken on the issue thus far. The Secretary of State made a wonderful speech that was very much from the heart, and we could see that. I hope that the victims and survivors get some comfort from the fact that many people care deeply about this issue. I also pay tribute to the shadow Minister, Stephen Pound. Once again, he made a beautiful and poignant speech that was truly from the heart. That will be picked up, heard and listened to by the victims and survivors, and I hope that it gives them some comfort.