Belfast Telegraph

Thompson 'would accept' another term as Victims Commissioner despite pensions furore

Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson has resisted calls to resign over the definition of a victim (PA)
Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson has resisted calls to resign over the definition of a victim (PA)

Commissioner for Victims and Survivors Judith Thompson has said that she intends to continue in her role if she is offered another term by the Secretary of State.

Mrs Thompson's current term in the role runs out at the end of the month and Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith will make the final decision on her future.

The Victims Commissioner has come under pressure to stand down after proposals for a pension for those injured in the Troubles resulted in a huge backlash from some who argued the plan equated victims with perpetrators of violence.

She has faced criticism from the DUP, UUP and TUV and a number of victims groups who say they have lost confidence in her.

The NIO has since confirmed that the pension will not be given to terrorists.

Mrs Thompson said in a statement on Tuesday that the definition of a victim was laid down by parliament and that the commission has worked within the legislation since its inception.

However, she accepted that there is no equivalence between perpetrators and victims.

Ann Travers, who's sister Mary was killed by the IRA while leaving church in 1984, said that it was not a political issue.

"It comes down to whether she has the confidence of all victims. I don't have confidence and she doesn't advocate for me," Ms Travers wrote on Twitter.

Mrs Thompson told BBC Radio Ulster that she would continue in her role if offered another term.

"That is a matter for the Secretary of State, if I am offered I will take it," she said.

Under the Victims and Survivors ( Northern Ireland) Order 2006 victims and survivors are considered to be someone who is or has been physically or psychologically injured as a result of or in consequence of a conflict-related incident or someone who provides a substantial amount of care on a regular basis for an individual.

Someone who has been bereaved as a result of or in consequence of a conflict-related incident is also included in the definiton.

South Belfast MP Emma Little Pengelly has called for the definition of a victim to be changed, describing the current status in legislation as 'immoral'.

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