Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:45 pm on 8th November 2000.

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Photo of Baroness Harris of Richmond Baroness Harris of Richmond Liberal Democrat 9:45 pm, 8th November 2000

My Lords, when I raised the issue in Committee I was heartened by the Minister's signal that the Government would look carefully at any requests the board made for funds to cover the cost of an inquiry. If the board has met all the other stringent criteria for initiating an inquiry, I am sure that no government would lightly refuse to meet the costs, otherwise the board would be unable to exercise the powers which the Bill confers on it.

I would welcome the Government's further assurance that they would be prepared to look at such funding requests as the need for an inquiry arises, rather than wait for the annual budget negotiations. That could significantly delay an inquiry and damage the credibility of the board. I beg to move.