Bradley move on key public body posts is welcomed
The Secretary of State's decision to green light Westminster legislation to enable vital appointments to be made to Northern Ireland's key public bodies in the continuing absence of a functioning Assembly was welcomed yesterday.
Karen Bradley's announcement was made amid growing concerns that the PSNI's oversight body the Policing Board, the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC) and the Probation Board - which has witnessed its membership numbers dip in recent months - would eventually cease functioning due to the political deadlock.
The move was hailed as positive by Policing Board chair Anne Connolly and Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, who said in separate statements that it had given their respective bodies assurances going forward.
"(This) will hopefully allow the board to become fully operational again," said Ms Connolly.
Sir Declan, who chairs the NIJAC, said it would enable commissioners to be appointed - important to "facilitate the NIJAC in carrying out its statutory functions".
Mrs Bradley stressed her priority remained restoring power-sharing and engaging closely with "political parties, and the Irish Government as appropriate", to get the Executive up and running again.