Secretary of State must explain paramilitary meetings

Social Democratic and Labour Party MP Claire Hanna has called on the Secretary of State to explain why the Northern Ireland Office is meeting the representatives of proscribed paramilitary organisations about Brexit.

The South Belfast MP said the NIO engagement with criminal gangs stands in stark contrast with the Secretary of State’s refusal to meet Ministers in relation to resource for a pension scheme for victims of the troubles.




Claire Hanna MP said:

“It beggars belief that proscribed paramilitary groups, which are actively involved in criminality, racketeering, threatening journalists and politicians are in talks with the Northern Ireland Office about trade arrangements across the Irish Sea.

“The Secretary of State needs to urgently explain why these gangs, which continue to cause pain and misery in communities across Northern Ireland, are being hosted by his Department while he continues to turn a blind eye to requests from Executive Ministers to discuss a pension for victims of the troubles. It is a perverse sense of priority.”

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