Troubles-related Crime

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at on 8 February 2023.

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Photo of Jack Lopresti Jack Lopresti Conservative, Filton and Bradley Stoke

What steps his Department is taking to support people affected by troubles-related crimes.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The UK Government are committed to delivering better outcomes for those most affected by the troubles, while helping society in general to look forward. The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, which is continuing its passage through Parliament, will establish an independent body to conduct reviews into troubles-related deaths and serious injuries, with the primary objective of providing information to families and to victims and survivors.

Photo of Jack Lopresti Jack Lopresti Conservative, Filton and Bradley Stoke

My right hon. Friend has always been clear that he will engage constructively with victims’ groups and listen to concerns that they may have about the Bill. What unresolved issues will be addressed as the Bill proceeds through Parliament?

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

My hon. Friend correctly highlights the significant engagement of the whole of my ministerial team, myself included, with many interested parties. We have listened to the concerns raised by victims, families and survivors of the troubles. As a result, the Government have tabled amendments to address a number of key concerns, including on ECHR compliance, on strengthening the commission’s independence, on sanctions for individuals found guilty of knowingly or wilfully misleading the commission, on creating stronger incentives for individuals to engage with the commission, and on a whole host of other areas. We remain open to constructive dialogue with all interested parties on unresolved issues.

Photo of Paul Girvan Paul Girvan Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

In the light of the announcement about the Omagh bombing public inquiry, will the same focus be put on getting justice for those people who constructed, planned and planted, as opposed to a witch hunt against those who have potentially had a dereliction of duty?

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Everybody in this House knows that it was dissident republican terrorists who planted that bomb that killed so many people. That is where justice needs to be found. However, there was a court ruling that found that the Government were lacking in four particular areas, and we now have a public inquiry to look into those.