Commissioner and Forum Address Legacy Legislation and the Victims Payment with Shadow Secretary of State in Belfast

Today the Commissioner and representatives from the Forum met with the Shadow Secretary of State to discuss Legacy Legislation and the Victims Payment Scheme.

“Challenge any last-minute changes to legacy legislation that has not had full consultation or cross community support  and drive forward the Victims Payment immediately”, these were the main messages to the Shadow Secretary of State, Louise Haigh  from the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors Judith Thompson and Forum members Mary Moreland, Paul McCormac and Paul Crawford.

Following a meeting in Belfast this morning the Commissioner said she was gratified at the high priority being given to legacy issues by the Shadow Secretary of State, and asked that she take back to Parliament the message that Victims and Survivors must not continue to be used as a political football.

“It is unconscionable that no movement has been made on delivering the Victims payment with last minute, un-consulted changes which have resulted in barriers to implementing the Scheme.

“We are also very concerned that this will happen to the promised legacy institutions leaving them open to legal challenge which in turn destroys faith and confidence in our political system being focused on meeting the needs of all victims and survivors,” warned Judith Thompson.

“We know that there is no perfect solution that will meet all expectations but we cannot simply throw away the work of all those stakeholders who have brought us to the point where legacy institutions and a victims payment are now within reach.

“Support and pressure, in equal measure, must be brought by all of Westminster to the Governments in London and Belfast to deliver at last for those who have suffered the most. We will not falter in our efforts to make that final leap and we would ask our politicians to recognise that this is the last  step in finally delivering tangible and meaningful truth, acknowledgement, justice and reparations for victims and survivors, allowing us to move forward to build a better future.”

For further information contact Sheila Davidson, 07785793672