A delegation from Traditional Unionist Voice (party leader Jim Allister, party vice-chair Richard Cairns and press officer Samuel Morrison) today met the Secretary of State.
Commenting after the meeting TUV leader Jim Allister said:
“We came to the meeting with a series of questions about the On the Runs issue and left with precious few of them answered. It is evident that the Northern Ireland Office, like the DUP, intends to hide behind the judge led review in order to avoid giving answers before the election.
“It was clear, however, that Peter Robinson did not get what he demanded as prerequisites to prevent his resignation.
“The Secretary of State was unable to say that the names of those who received the letters and the crimes which they were suspected of being involved in will be published. Indeed, she flagged up human rights considerations which could – and as time will prove will – prevent the names being published.
“She also made it clear that she had no intention of contacting those who have received letters in order to rescind them – another matter over which the First Minister said he would resign.
“The Secretary of State also hid behind the judge led review when I challenged her to publish the Government papers disclosed to court in the Downey case in particular the 802 pages identified at page 3 of the Downey judgement as ‘two files of disclosed materials in relation to the relevant negotiations in the NI peace process’, which as material disclosed by the Crown in a criminal trial can now be published by HMG.
“When pressed about suggestions that HM Government had provided compensation to OTRs the Secretary of State denied that this had taken place.
“TUV also used the meeting to press the Secretary of State on the future of Praxis at Hillsborough Castle. We made it very clear to her that we believed the charity should be allowed to stay and that the NIO’s handling of the issue to date has been disastrous.”