The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesperson, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has said it is no surprise that the Victims Commissioner is not to have her term of office extended.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“The news that the present Victims Commissioner – Judith Thompson – will not have her position extended is not surprising. There is no doubt that this is not an easy job, and the nature of life in Northern Ireland coupled with the legacy of the Troubles virtually guarantees that.
“However, even allowing for that, there is no question that several serious mistakes were made – not least a reluctance to ensure that perpetrators were not treated the same as victims within the victims pensions scheme. And the decision to allow a convicted and unapologetic IRA bomber onto the Victims Forum knowing that there was a victim on the forum who lost a child due to an IRA bomb was simply unforgivable.
“Furthermore, her refusal to acknowledge that the existing legislation meant she had it in her power to ensure that legislation being brought forward should distinguish between victims and perpetrators, was and is another reason why she no longer has the trust of some victims groups, and many members of the public and politicians alike.
“All these issues will now have to be resolved by her successor, and whilst I do wish Judith Thompson well in whatever role she assumes, I also want to see a new Victims Commissioner in place who puts innocent victims front and centre.”