Northern Ireland

HIA compensation not approved in time for summer recess

Historical Abuse Inquiry sign Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Campaigners have been calling for HIA compensation to be implemented since early 2017

The government has rejected a bid to rush through legislation to allow compensation payments for victims of historical institutional abuse in NI.

Payments to victims were recommended by the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry in 2017.

DUP MP Ian Paisley said there was nothing to stop legislation being introduced before the summer recess begins on Thursday.

But Northern Ireland Office minister John Penrose said this was impossible.

Mr Penrose said he could understand frustration around the delay but the Bill would require primary legislation in order to be taken through, so he could not tell Mr Paisley it was ready to go on Wednesday.

Redrafted legislation to provide compensation to victims of historical institutional abuse was sent to the former Northern Ireland secretary of state, Karen Bradley last week.

"I hope that we will be able to introduce this legislation at pace and at the very least by the end of this year," he added.

Conservative MP Maria Caulfield said the issue should be a priority when MPs return after the summer recess.

North Down MP Lady Sylvia Hermon called the delay "absolutely shameful".

The delay in bringing the legislation through Parliament has been heavily criticised by the victims themselves.