Commissioner and Victims and Survivors Forum call on Secretary of State to show Political Leadership

The Commissioner for Victim and Survivors and members of the Victims and Survivors Forum today called upon the Secretary of State James Brokenshire to show political leadership by issuing consultation documents on legacy legislation.

The Commissioner and the Forum, which has concluded a series of meetings with the leaders of all five main political parties, challenged Mr Brokenshire to stick to his commitment to move ahead with consultations in the absence of an Executive.

“All the main parties are supportive of immediate consultations around legacy institutions and there is no need for delay in the absence of an Assembly, since the legislation would in any case be laid before MP’s at Westminster,” said members.

“When we met the Secretary of State recently, he assured us that he could and would issue consultation documents even if the Assembly was not back up and running. We are now calling upon him to do deliver upon his promise.”    

Forum members met in Belfast to conclude a series of discussions with party leaders, rounding off with Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Fein and Robin Swann of UUP.

Victims and Survivors Commissioner Judith Thompson said: “We are at a critical stage and time is running out to meet the parliamentary legislative timetable in 2018. Consultation documents must be issued by the end of this year or an important window of opportunity will be lost”.

“Victims and survivors cannot wait any longer. Next year will be a very busy one for Parliament with Brexit legislation. The consequence for victims and survivors of further delay could mean some of them will die and others will continue to suffer before they get access to effective investigations and information that some of them so desperately need.”

The Victims and Survivors Forum plan to meet the Shadow Secretary of State, Owen Smith, in January.