Belfast Telegraph

Karen Bradley to introduce more Northern Ireland laws from London - report

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State is to introduce more laws from Westminster, it has been reported.

Sources told the BBC Karen Bradley will bring forward legislation in order to reform the PSNI oversight body, the Policing Board, later this year.

It comes after PSNI Chief Constable warned his organisation was vulnerable to losing key staff as most of his senior command team was only appointed on a temporary basis.

The Policing Board is needed in order to make the posts permanent. It can not be re-constituted as a Stormont Executive is needed in order to appoint its members.

Mr Hamilton also said the organisation was a key outlet for the PSNI in order to be able to explain and justify its actions - particularly in the current political vacuum.

Karen Bradley told MPs she would make a statement on the matter before the Westminster summer recess.

On Tuesday, the BBC reported that she intends to bring forward legislation on the matter in the autumn.

The UK Government has been reluctant to introduce direct rule, however, as the political deadlock continues in Northern Ireland the introduction of more laws from Westminster will become increasingly necessary.

Alliance's Stephen Farry welcomed the move.

"But [it] does still beg the question if NIO can act in this special case, why not other urgent areas and indeed fix the governance mess?" he added.

The Northern Ireland Office responded: "The Government has always been clear that, in the continued absence of an Executive, we will take the decisions which are necessary to maintain good governance in Northern Ireland.

"As the Secretary of State has previously told the House, she intends to make a statement on public appointments before the summer recess. We expect this statement to be laid tomorrow [Wednesday]."

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