Northern Ireland

DUP loses 'victim' bill bid

A DUP attempt to change the definition of a victim has been defeated in the Assembly.

The party wanted to ensure that those involved in violence in the Troubles could not be defined as victims.

Under its proposed Victims and Survivors Bill, anyone convicted of terrorism or membership of proscribed organisations would be excluded.

But Sinn Fein and the SDLP lodged a Petition of Concern and won.

It meant the Bill would have had to enjoy the support of a majority of both unionist and nationalist voters to proceed.

The Victims and Survivors (NI) Order 2006 makes no distinction between paramilitaries, who were killed or injured, and other victims.

When the DUP launched a public consultation on the proposed Bill in 2009, Sinn Fein said there should be "no hierarchy of victims."

SDLP assembly member Alex Attwood said he was "totally unsupportive" of the DUP plan.

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