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TUV leader disappointed over decision not to light up Stormont for victims

The Assembly Commission said the request by Jim Allister did ‘not comply with the commission’s lighting policy’.

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TUV leader Jim Allister has expressed disappointment at the refusal of his request to light up Stormont red for victims (PA)

TUV leader Jim Allister has expressed disappointment at the refusal of his request to light up Stormont red for victims (PA)

TUV leader Jim Allister has expressed disappointment at the refusal of his request to light up Stormont red for victims (PA)

TUV leader Jim Allister has expressed disappointment that Stormont stood by a decision to refuse his request to light up Parliament Buildings for a victims event.

He made the request for Friday to coincide with an event to mark the annual European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, which falls on March 11.

Mr Allister hosts an event at Stormont every year around the date.

Following the initial refusal, Mr Allister asked the Assembly Commission to review its decision.

He expressed disappointment that the decision remains, claiming that innocent victims of terrorism have been slighted.

“The commission had the discretion to override the policy, but chose not to do so,” he said.

“This so-called policy is not statute, nor was it approved by the Assembly, it is mere in-house guidance.

“If there had been a will to respect and honour the victims of terrorism, a way would have been found.”

Mr Allister said his event will proceed.

Both the DUP and UUP also expressed disappointment at the decision to refuse Mr Allister’s request.

The Assembly Commission said in a statement that it had given lengthy consideration to the request but had been unable to agree to accede to the request.

“The Commission’s lighting policy makes clear that ‘special lighting will not be approved to mark an event/ occasion that occurs repeatedly, for example an annual Day or Week, unless it is a significant anniversary of that event occasion,” the statement reads.

“In addition, no event/occasion scheduled under paragraph 12 (which permits requests to be made) can be marked by special lighting more than once in any three year period’. 

“Parliament Buildings was lit for European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism on 11 March 2019.

“The Assembly Commission gave lengthy consideration to the application and was sympathetic to the sensitive issues involved but as it did it was unable to agree to accept the request.”

PA