25 July 2019
DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA has urged the Secretary of State Julian Smith to ensure that legislation to implement the HIA inquiry recommendations is progressed.
She said, “I welcome Julian Smith into a role which has a considerable workload and many outstanding issues that I hope he will be able to make progress on. I am glad that he is getting down to work straight away and will meet all the local parties. I hope the Secretary of State shares my desire to see devolution restored and that progress can be made in the talks. Our schools and hospitals need key decisions to be taken and it is the people of Northern Ireland who have suffered as a result of the decision to collapse devolution over two years ago.
One of the most urgent outstanding issues awaiting the new Secretary of State is to ensure that victims of historical abuse can finally see the recommendations of Sir Anthony Hart’s report implemented. This is an issue where there is strong cross-community support and we urged his predecessor to ensure the legislation was brought forward. I hope that Julian Smith can make this the first area where can deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.”