Secretary Of State To Meet With NI Parties On Thursday

The Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley has confirmed she will meet with political parties to discuss a possible return to the power-sharing Executive on Thursday 01 November.

Addressing the House of Commons on Wednesday 31 October, Mrs Bradley was answering questions on a range of issues that included paramilitaries, legacy issues, and the new Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill that is currently making its way through Government.

She announced the meeting in her response to a question about what steps she has taken to restore the devolved administration.

SNP MP Chris Stephens also asked about the absence of formal talks since February, to which Mrs Bradley responded: "As I said earlier the best thing for the people of Northern Ireland is the politicians they elected coming together, forming an executive, getting back into the Assembly, and making decisions on their behalf.
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"I as a member of this Government support devolution, across the whole United Kingdom and I want to see it working properly."

On the issue of legacy investigations, the Conservative MP added: "I have been deeply moved by the personal stories of pain and suffering endured by the families of the victims and survivors of the Troubles.

"That is why we consulted about how we best move forward and address the legacy of Northern Ireland's past.

"I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to be heard and over 17,000 responses have been received. We are now considering the response and will set out how we intend to move forward in due course."

Mrs Bradley also paid tribute to those killed in the Greysteel massacre, the anniversary of which fell on Wednesday, and said Northern Ireland has made "huge progress" since the eight victims were killed in 1993.

The country has been without a government since the collapse of the Stormont Executive in January 2017.


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