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Northern Ireland: Devolved Government - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:11 pm on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Shadow Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:11 pm, 28th October 2019

I do not think that the Minister quite answered the question that was asked of him on that point. However, after this Question, we shall move on to the next business—the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill. If anything, it is a really poignant reminder of what is happening in Northern Ireland: how the people there are waiting for decisions to be made. I have previously raised the issue of the hyponatraemia inquiry. I commissioned it all those years ago when I was a Minister and we are still waiting to go through the recommendations.

Noble Lords will have noticed that at the moment the Prime Minister is spending a great deal of time talking about an election of Members of Parliament to Westminster. Can the Minister tell us how much time the Prime Minister has had left over to talk personally to the political parties in Northern Ireland? How much is he involved in trying to get Stormont and the institutions up and running again, or is he too busy focusing on a withdrawal Bill that is doing more damage than helping in getting those institutions up and running?