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Sunday, October 17, 2021

TUV leader calls current victims’ commissioners term ‘disastrous’

TUV leader Jim Allister has written to Secretary of State calling the current on Victims’ Commissioner term in office ‘disastrous’.

The open letter written by the North Antrim MLA comes as the current Victims’ Commissioner, Judith Thompson, time in office comes to an end.

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Speaking about Ms Thompson, Jim Allister said:

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“A Victims’ Commissioner who cannot command the support of innocent victims clearly isn’t up to the job. That is why I have today written to the Secretary of State in the terms below.”

The letter sent from Mr Allister To NI Secretary of State reads,

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Dear Secretary of State,
As you are doubtless aware the current Victims’ Commissioner’s term of office is coming to an end.

Her period in the post can only be described as disastrous, having lost as she has the support of the innocent victims of terrorism.

The fact that never once during her term of office did she call for the introduction of a definition of a ‘victim’ which removes the current equivalence between victim and victim-maker, is a token of her monumental failure as a supposed victims’ commissioner.

Moreover, her support for a terrorist on the Victims’ Forum at the expense of an elderly innocent victim, epitomised, for me, the flaw at the heart of her mindset.

Her failure to demand that any victims’ pension must only be available to the innocent and not victim-makers, is but one of many examples in a tenure that has failed to serve innocent victims and in consequence has lost the confidence of that sector.

You will also note that, following the belated statement from the DUP yesterday, she has lost the support of all the Unionist parties. She must go.

With her term of office drawing to a close, it would be preposterous and a calculated kick in the teeth for innocent victims if she was reappointed and therefore I write urging you to ensure this does not happen.

Yours sincerely, Jim Allister

BUT Judith Thompson has defended her position and the recent advice given to the NIO on a ‘Troubles Pension’.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster she said,

“In my advice, it was absolutely clear I represent the greatest swathe of people who suffered harm. It is a contested definition.

“I followed the remit I am given by law. That law does not deliver or suggest moral equivalence between those who cause harm, and the person who is harmed, but what it does say is that we need to recognise all harm.

On the matter of a second term as Victims’ Commissioner,

“It is a matter for the secretary of state, and if I am offered it, I will take it.”

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