Part of Northern Ireland Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Glentoran Lord Glentoran Shadow Minister (the Olympics), Culture, Media & Sport, Shadow Minister, Northern Ireland, Shadow Minister, Wales 4:15 pm, 11th March 2009

This is a difficult situation, a difficult Bill and a difficult time. No one is more aware of that than I am, having visited the Province yesterday. I visited all the sites, the chief constable, the head of the Army and, indeed, the chief inspector and the policemen down at Craigavon, and I sent my personal condolences to them through two young policewomen.

I am not taking an active part in this, any more than my noble friend Lord Kingsland is. His arguments are sound, and I shall have a few more later. My reason for not supporting the noble Lords, Lord Maginnis and Lord Browne, is not intellectual; it is purely because I believe that, given the situation that we are in, now is not the time to start dissecting a Bill as important as this. I still think that it is an awful shame that it did not have longer in the Commons and here, but that is where we are and where we must stay and go from. Although it is not really my job, I ask the noble Lord, Lord Maginnis, whether he would be good enough to withdraw his amendment.