Patrick Finucane: Supreme Court Judgment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:32 pm on 30th November 2020.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 5:32 pm, 30th November 2020

I suggest that the hon. Gentleman looks back at my statement in Hansard later on, because he has misunderstood the point I was making. This was a dark time—that is a simple fact of the reality of the troubles. I am sure we are all pleased that the Good Friday/Belfast agreement has meant that we have been able to move forward from that period and develop a peace process that is leading to prosperity in Northern Ireland that we should be building on.

I have spoken to the Finucane family today. I understand and appreciate that they will be disappointed by the decision we have made today, because they clearly would like to see a public inquiry. The decision we have to make and the decision I have made is around what is in the public interest and what the right steps are in completing our obligations under article 2, as per the Supreme Court’s decisions.

The police investigation and the police ombudsman’s work in its investigation is an important part of that process. We have to see what comes through with that. I think it is right that we allow that methodical approach to happen without pre-judging what the outcomes of that may be or creating a dual piece of work that could prejudice the work of the police or the police ombudsman. That is the right way forward and the proper due process to follow.