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‘British Government clearly not sincere on legacy process’ - Kelly

7 March, 2019 - by Gerry Kelly

If the British Government was sincere about dealing with the legacy of the conflict here then it would not have stalled on implementing the bodies agreed at Stormont House, Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has said.

The party’s Policing spokesperson was commenting after today’s Policing Board meeting where he challenged the PSNI Chief Constable on the comments by British Secretary of State Karen Bradley in which she said deaths caused by state forces were not crimes.

Gerry Kelly said: “I asked the Chief Constable and he said that as a police officer he disagrees with what was said by the British Secretary of State.

“Clearly her comments were based on false information and the difficulty for her now is that her credibility is at absolute zero with families, it’s at absolute zero with the wider nationalist community and, I would argue, it is very close to zero with anybody who listened to her remarks.”

Although the British Secretary of State has now apologised for her remarks, Gerry Kelly said it rings hollow when it was based on her government’s commitment to establishing the Stormont House legacy bodies.

The North Belfast MLA added: “In her apology, she actually referenced the fact that there was a consultation set up on the legacy structures which were agreed five years ago now by all the parties and both governments in the Stormont House Agreement.

“If the British government was sincere about this apology and sincere about the wider legacy process, then those structures and the legislation underpinning them would be in place by now.

“We wouldn’t be dealing with this issue on a daily basis, we wouldn’t be dealing with the failures of the PSNI and the British State to disclose information. What we would be dealing with is a structured set up to bring as much truth, justice and closure as is possible to grieving families, victims and survivors.”

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