Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Secretary warns against knee-jerk reaction following civil service unrest

Uncertainty has been raised over officials’ powers following a High Court judgment.

The Northern Ireland Secretary has warned against knee-jerk reactions to the incinerator High Court judgment.

Uncertainty has been raised over officials’ powers following the landmark ruling.

Mrs Justice Keegan blocked a controversial waste incinerator in Co Antrim in a finding which could affect many other important planning decisions.

Knee-jerk reactions are not the answer Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley

Stormont’s Department for Infrastructure has appealed against the judgment, seeking clarity after a ruling that senior civil servant Peter May had no power to approve the planning application.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said the UK Government would take steps to ensure governance in Northern Ireland.

She added: “Knee-jerk reactions are not the answer.

“The answer is to look at the right way to make sure that there is good governance in Northern Ireland.

“For the politicians of Northern Ireland to recognise that it is their duty to come together and govern in the interests of the people who elected them.”

It may have been impossible to hold the North West 200 motorbike race because of uncertainty over the officials’ powers, the country’s senior civil servant David Sterling said earlier this week.

Ms Bradley said she was well aware of the problems and concerns and said it was important to have clarity on the court ruling.

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