“Victims being held to ransom by Tory in-fighting’ – O’Neill

Victims should not be held to ransom by in-fighting in a dysfunctional Tory cabinet, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has said.

Commenting after meeting with Department of Justice officials today to discuss progress on legacy matters, Michelle O’Neill said:

“The British Government has committed to begin a consultation on the Draft Legacy Bill and the paper has been circulated to the political parties with the expectation that it would be published this week.

“However, it is now being reported that it could be delayed yet again due to opposition within the clearly dysfunctional British Tory cabinet. That simply isn’t good enough. Victims have already been waiting far too long and they should not be held to ransom by Tory party in-fighting.

“Victims are frustrated and angry at the constant delays and prevarication from the British Government. This is being compounded by the ongoing refusal to release the legacy inquest funding requested by the Lord Chief Justice.

“This is despite a High Court ruling over six weeks ago that former First Minister Arlene Foster unlawfully blocked the Lord Chief Justice’s plan aimed at clearing the backlog of legacy inquests.

“I met Department of Justice officials today to discuss progress on that issue and while officials are preparing the necessary measures, what we need to see now is an end to the stalling and blocking from the British Government.

“The British Secretary of State should bring forward the legacy consultation and a time frame for implementing the mechanisms of the Stormont House Agreement and immediately release the legacy inquest funding.”