Belfast Telegraph

Further delay likely in historical abuse compensation laws

Tory MP Simon Hoare, the Conservative chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee
Tory MP Simon Hoare, the Conservative chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee

It is "highly likely" legislation for compensation for victims of historical abuse will not be introduced before the summer break leading to a further delay, the chair of the Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has said.

Simon Hoare told the BBC that while he wanted it sorted it could be months before the matter could go through parliament. He has pressed for the issue to be scheduled for the first two weeks of September.

"There isn't a preciousness to which side of the Irish Sea resolves this, is it going to be Westminster or Belfast - it just needs to be sorted," he said.

The wide-ranging Hart Inquiry recommended an apology, memorial and compensation to those victims of historical abuse in 2017.

It examined allegations of abuse and mistreatment at 22 homes and other residential institutions between 1922 and 1995 at children homes ran by some churches, charities and state institutions.

Campaigners have been calling for government to act in the absence of power sharing saying those survivors are dying off while they wait for action.

"We are dealing with vulnerable people who are needing to find the building blocks to deliver closure - and it is slightly cat and mouse to be delaying this any longer than it need to be," said MP Hoare.

Mr Hoare was speaking out after meeting with campaign groups and victims on Friday.

One group has said it is disappointed at the prospect of a further delay.

Brendan McAllister, the new advocate for victims of institutional abuse said he didn't expect legislation to be finalised by September.

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