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New Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson: I'm undecided on key issues

By David Young

Published 24/07/2015

Decisions: Judith Thompson
Decisions: Judith Thompson

The new Commissioner for Victims in Northern Ireland has said she has not made up her mind on key issues she will face in her new post - including the incendiary issue of pensions for Troubles victims.

Judith Thompson's appointment to the £75,000 job was revealed exclusively in yesterday's Belfast Telegraph.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, the Commissioner said she wanted to hear different views before taking decisions.

"The definition of who should quality for a pension - like many issues around this post - are to do with different understanding of the past," she said.

"Those are difficult - and they are extremely important.

"When I come into post the first thing I will do is to take soundings and listen to the different views.

"I think it's critically important that everybody is respected.

"I don't think at this stage that I should have formed my views on anything like that without talking to those people."

Ms Thompson is currently the Northern Ireland operations manager for Skills for Justice, a UK research and consultancy organisation.

The politically-sensitive Victims Commissioner post has been vacant for over a year.

Previous incumbent Kathryn Stone dramatically quit the job in June 2014 after just 18 months to take up a post in England.

Victims' groups had expressed concern over the delay in replacing Ms Stone, who had served as Commissioner since September 2012. She came under fire last year after she declined to label the IRA and UVF as terrorists.

But Ms Stone insisted that frustration at lack of political progress was not a factor in her decision to step down as Commissioner.

Belfast Telegraph

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