‘Villiers must resign if she cannot accept Loughinisland Report’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has said the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland must resign if she does not accept the findings of the report of the Loughinisland Massacre by the Police Ombudsman in its entirety. ritchie2Since the report was published on Thursday, Villiers has refused to withdraw her remarks that claims of state collusion in paramilitary attacks during the Troubles were “pernicious” and “a deliberate distortion”. Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie said, “Theresa Villiers must state clearly if she accepts the findings of the Loughinisland Report in its entirety. If she does not then she must resign her position as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. “Theresa Villiers again finds herself in direct opposition to the people of Northern Ireland. Her continued equivocation over state collusion in the face of the damning Loughinisland Report is outrageous. “It is an insult to the families who have campaigned with dignity and resilience for so long and offensive to all the people of the North who are opposed to paramilitary and state violence.
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May June 2016 updated“The Police Ombudsman has the support of all parties here and of both the Irish and British Governments. By refusing to correct herself, Theresa Villiers is suggesting that she rejects the findings of this independent and impartial report. It suggests that her agenda is driven by narrow ideology and not the best interests of our people. “She is showing herself to be anything but independent and impartial in her role as Secretary of State. Ritchie added, “We must have confidence that the person representing our interests to the British Government has a commitment to truth and does not prioritise the reputation of state agencies over justice.”
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