Northern Ireland Select Committee Reports

I serve on the Northern Ireland Select Committee, which has produced two reports during March. These are:

On-the-Runs
Following the  John Downey trial where it was revealed that following the Good Friday agreement, suspected IRA criminals were issued ‘comfort letters’ to encourage them to return to the UK. We have been looking at this issue in great detail in the Select Committee and published this report on the 24th March. This scheme undermined the UK Justice System and I believe that this was a mistake, issued under then Prime Minister Tony Blair. I believe that the names of those who have been issued this letters should be made public and I welcome the opportunity for the committee to investigate this issue.

The Committee announced its inquiry into the scheme after the Government appointed its own inquiry led by Dame Heather Hallett. The Committee was concerned that the Government’s inquiry was too narrow in its remit, and also that it was not going to be conducted in public.

You can read the report here.

Banking
Northern Irish banks were left highly exposed to bad debts in the 2007-08 crash, so the economy was left to pick up the consequences. However, banks have an equally central role in securing an economic recovery. This Report examines how well equipped banks in Northern Ireland are to play this role and makes a number of recommendations to ensure they do so, including recommendations on customer service, access to finance, regional lending data and recovery.

You can read the report here.