17/05/2019

Party Leaders Call For Abuse Victim Compensation

Political leaders in Northern Ireland have penned a joint letter to the Secretary of State Karen Bradley urging her to bring forward legislation to compensate victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse.

The Conservative politician is facing backlash after saying earlier this week the issue would be considered as part of negotiations to restore Stormont, rather than pushed through Parliament immediately.

Many have accused Ms Bradley of using abuse victims as "political pawns" in the talks process. In their statement, the six party leaders said they are in agreement that she should act on the recommendations of the Hart Inquiry immediately.
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Signed by the leaders of the DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance, UUP and the Green Party, the letter reads: "The Head of the Civil Service David Sterling has formally asked you as the Secretary of State to progress legislation through Westminster to compensate victims of Historical Institutional Abuse.

"In his appeal to you, Mr Sterling has stressed the need to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion, particularly given the age profiles of those involved.

"You have rejected this appeal from the Head of the Civil Service for legislation to compensate victims of historical institutional abuse, instead claiming that it should be a matter for the Stormont negotiations.

"The parties share the view that despite ongoing Talks aimed at restoring the Assembly that the recommendations of the Hart Inquiry should be addressed without any further delay and a suitable legal and financial framework put in place to begin addressing the needs of victims by you as Secretary of State.

"We look forward to your response shortly." 



(JG/CM)

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