Results 1–20 of 4264 for speaker:Lord Murphy of Torfaen

Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill [HL] - Committee (and remaining stages): Motion (31 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, I associate myself with my noble friend Lord Hain and indicate that the Opposition entirely agree with the Government on this Bill. It was, after all, a government Bill—the very first introduced in the House of Lords. We will do nothing at all to obstruct its passage either in this House or in the other place. To the contrary, we wish the Minister and his colleagues well in trying...

Northern Ireland (Extension of Period for Executive Formation) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve (31 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, we, of course, support this statutory instrument and, again, we support it reluctantly. This is the fourth occasion this week that Northern Ireland business has been discussed in this Chamber; this and, indeed, the last item to be discussed this afternoon, are all about the fact that there is no Government in Northern Ireland. Looking at Scotland and Wales, which have their devolved...

Northern Ireland Budget Bill - Second Reading (and remaining stages) (31 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: The Opposition is entirely behind my noble friend on this, but could the Minister look at the point that he made about the wash-up? As long as we pass the Bill later and First Reading is taken in the other place—nothing happens; it is simply received—it could go into the wash-up and be given Royal Assent. That is the specific thing that we are asking the Minister to do between now and 4.30 pm.

Northern Ireland Budget Bill - Second Reading (and remaining stages) (31 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, obviously, the Opposition will support the Bill, albeit reluctantly, because we know why it is in front of us and why it is being dealt with so swiftly. I regret that we have to do this—I think the whole House does—but without it, there would be no money and so we must pass it today, as the House of Commons did yesterday. Members of your Lordships’ House raised a number of...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019: Section 3(5) - Motion to Take Note (28 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, I hope we can go on, but it is a rather gloomy situation. The noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, referred to stamina. When he and I first met to deal with these issues, I was 48 years of age. As I approach my 71st birthday, the definition of stamina completely changes. I say to the House that a lot of very interesting points have been made today regarding issues other than the restoration....

Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill [HL] - Second Reading (28 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, just under 20 years ago it fell upon me as the then Secretary of State for Wales to make a Statement in the other place on the north Wales child abuse inquiry, which had been chaired by another distinguished judge, Sir Ronald Waterhouse. It uncovered the worst example at that point of institutional abuse known in our country and eventually led to 72 recommendations, including the...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019: Section 3(5) - Motion to Take Note (17 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: More is the pity—of course a Speaker should be elected. We should have an Assembly and an Executive up and running in Belfast, but I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, whose experience in these matters is enormous, that it is not going to happen. However, this short debate is important to deal with the issues in the current Act—and to do so at the time we are debating it. I have...

Irish Border: Checks and Customs Arrangements - Statement (1 Oct 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, if there is an ounce of truth in the reports today that the Government’s technical non-paper, or indeed a real paper, dealing with the Irish border is suggesting physical infrastructure or indeed anything that currently does not exist at the border, does the Minister accept that that could compromise the Good Friday agreement, that it flies in the face of the joint declaration of...

Northern Ireland (Ministerial Appointment Functions) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve (9 Sep 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, this is a short debate and an important one. The Opposition will support the Government on the regulations, for obvious reasons, because appointments in Northern Ireland could not be made unless we did. But the Minister must be aware from the tone of the contributions made in the past hour that this debate is really about the restoration of the institutions in Northern Ireland. In a...

Trade Unions - Motion to Take Note (18 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: It is always a great pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Lane-Fox, who made a wonderfully relevant and important contribution to this debate—as did my noble friend Lord Jordan when he opened this debate with a very important speech. He referred particularly to the ILO, and by chance I was in Versailles yesterday. I had forgotten that, as well as the peace settlement in 1919, the...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee (Continued): Amendment 12 (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: I support the proposals of the noble Lord, Lord Empey. They are extremely sensible, so who would not? The noble Lord has raised this on a number of occasions; in a way it is a cri de cœur, because we have all these unresolved issues in Northern Ireland. We should remember that this is asking for reports, not action, because nobody can take that action. The civil servants are limited in how...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee: Amendment 9 (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: I understand that point. Of course the city of Derry would be enhanced by a larger university presence. There are two very fine universities in Northern Ireland—Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Ulster—so all that my noble friend Lord Adonis, has said is absolutely right. We would support him in his amendment to ensure that a report is produced on progress with...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee: Amendment 9 (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: It would not be for me or anyone else in the House to determine that. It would be a matter for the Ministers responsible for higher education and health to determine. Of course, the noble Lord is right to refer to the medical school at Queen’s University, Belfast. In my home village of Abersychan in south Wales, three of our family doctors were educated at Queen’s, and fine doctors they...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee: Amendment 8 (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: There is something which is right about the amendments tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Bruce: the whole of the United Kingdom should have similar regulations regarding transparency of donations and loans. The Committee will be aware that for decades this was virtually impossible in Northern Ireland, because people would be intimidated and worse if their donations to various political parties...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee: Amendment 1 (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: As indeed does the Labour Party. I understand the rationale behind the amendments. We are in the holiday season—marching season. There is no Prime Minister, there could well be a new Secretary of State and Brexit looms over everything. It is not exactly the best time to try to come to an agreement. I understand the logic, but my fear—expressed by other Members of the Committee—is that...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee: Amendment 1 (15 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: That is because we are not dealing with Brexit at the moment, but with Northern Ireland. Had we resolved the Northern Ireland situation over the past two years, we would possibly have resolved the backstop issue. Had we done that, Brexit could have been much easier. However, the Government have not been negotiating well on either issue. I do not hold huge confidence in our new Prime...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Second Reading (10 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: I thought that the points made by the noble Viscount, Lord Brookeborough, were significant and came at an appropriate time, almost at the end of the debate. I know that there are very strong views on the amendments that came before the House of Commons yesterday, and which passed with large majorities. I have my personal views on those issues, but the point is that none of this would have...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Second Reading (10 Jul 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: If Sinn Féin has the interests of Northern Ireland at heart, I will give a couple of examples of why it should come back. At the moment, outstanding issues in Northern Ireland include: compensation to victims of historical abuse; a strategy to deal with bovine TB; a decision to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals; university tuition fees; the mergers of schools and...

Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 (Extension of duration of non-jury trial provisions) Order 2019 - Motion to Approve (4 Jun 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, I am sure that noble Lords will join me in wishing the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, all the very best. Recalling my first visit to Northern Ireland as a youngish shadow Minister 24 years ago, the situation was hugely different from what it is today. There were Diplock courts, of course, and juries before that had been severely intimidated by paramilitaries from both sides....

Northern Ireland Update - Statement (29 Apr 2019)

Lord Murphy of Torfaen: My Lords, political vacuums in Northern Ireland are often filled with violence, and the wicked murderers of Lyra McKee used the absence of the political institutions in Northern Ireland to maintain that the Good Friday agreement was dead—that it had failed. However, the death of a courageous young journalist and the admonition in the cathedral of Father Magill have rightly reminded...


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