Uachtarán Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald and Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill met with the British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis today and told him that the British government must honour its commitments.
The Sinn Féin delegation, which included Francie Molloy MP and Gerry Kelly MLA, had a robust and frank exchange on the issue of legacy with the British Secretary of State.
Speaking after the meeting Mary Lou McDonald said:
“It was very clear that the British government has been turning its back on the internationally agreed Stormont House Agreement legacy mechanisms.
“It is now also rejecting the Westminster legal definition of a victim in its approach to dealing with victims’ payment.
“Sinn Féin remains committed to the provision of a victims’ payment based on need and the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement in a human right compliant manner.
“The recent Westminster Regulations will potentially exclude thousands of victims from the Nationalist and Republican community from accessing the payment scheme.
“We told him that the British government approach was both discriminatory and unacceptable.
“We also reminded him of British government’s obligations to fund the scheme in full.
“By introducing a hierarchy of victimhood the British government is undermining attempts to heal the wounds of the past and promote a genuine reconciliation process.”