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Paterson vows to get tough on dissidents

The Government is “determined to bear down” on the threat posed by dissident groups in the wake of the most recent bombing in the centre of Londonderry, the Secretary of State has said.

Addressing MPs in the Commons during Northern Ireland questions, Owen Paterson said the threat level there remained at “severe”.

Labour's David Hanson (Delyn) paid tribute to the people who came out to protest against the bombing of the City of Culture offices, stating “they represent the true voice of Northern Ireland”.

Mr Paterson condemned those involved in last week's bombing, stating: “It is quite extraordinary when you think how that city is coming together, united behind the City of Culture coming along soon, that this tiny number of unrepresented people can do such a crazily reckless thing.”

Labour's Diana Johnson (Kingston Upon Hull North) asked if the security situation was worse or better than it was a year ago.

Mr Paterson responded “very significant extra resources” had been put in – £200m over the next four years, backed also by the Executive putting in a further £45m.

He said that in discussions with the PSNI: “We are determined to bear down on these groups who are dangerous and we are not complacent about them.”

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