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Boris Johnson says Troubles pension 'provides fair, balanced and proportionate way of helping those who suffered most'

The special payments scheme for severely injured victims linked to the Troubles "provides a fair, balanced and proportionate way of helping all those who suffered most", the Prime Minister said

DUP Westminster leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson raised the matter during Prime Minister's Questions.

Pensions were to open for those injured during the Troubles at the end of May. However, Sinn Fein is refusing to nominate a department to administer the project arguing the legislation discriminates against those with convictions.

In the Commons Sir Jeffrey said: "The Prime Minister will be aware that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has today published the guidelines for the special payments scheme for severely injured victims linked to the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

"The Prime Minister will also know that this House passed legislation which excludes those injured by their own hand. But the innocent victims have not yet been able to benefit from this scheme, not least because of the actions of Sinn Fein who are blocking the next steps to implementation.

"Will the PM have his Government now commit to do all that they can to move this matter forward so that our most vulnerable of innocent victims can receive this pension?"

Responding, Mr Johnson said: "I think this scheme provides a fair, balanced and proportionate way of helping all those who suffered most during the Troubles and it's very important that Sinn Fein, along with all other parties, allow the scheme to go forward as soon as possible."

The Secretary of State Brandon Lewis was to publish draft guidelines on the pensions on Wednesday. The Northern Ireland Office has said this will take place at a later date.

PA