Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Hain accused of 'complete arrogance' over Victims Commissioner verdict

17 November, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has accused the British Secretary of State Peter Hain of 'complete arrogance' after he defended his decision to act illegally and appoint Bertha McDougall as interim Victims Commissioner.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Peter Hain's approach to the appointment of Victims Commissioner was bad enough in the first instance. Having been found in court as acting illegally and receiving unprecedented criticism from the judge in the case many would have thought that Mr Hain would have tried to undo the damage and offence he has caused to many victims and act on the verdict of the court.

"Instead in an arrogant almost colonial fashion Mr Hain has attempted to laugh off the implications of the judgement and has instead sought to defend the indefensible. His comments over the past two days in relation to Brenda Downes court challenge have displayed insensitivity and a complete arrogance. It has to be said that this is typical of the approach being adopted to the wider issue of victims and truth by the British State.

"Mr Hain needs to realise that the judgement in this case does have serious implications both for himself and his department. Ignoring it or attempting to minimise its implications simply will not wash with victims organisations." ENDS

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