During an interview with LBC radio the Home Secretary stated that he would spend £500million, plus annual costs, on the Northern Ireland border. This was without scrutiny from Parliament or publication of the figures for wider consultation.
It would appear that this number was plucked out of thin air during the interview to ensure a favourable reaction in his bid to be the next Prime Minister. We cannot run our government in this way.
That is why I raised these figures in the House of Commons. The Secretary of State didn’t answer my question and instead hid behind his Minister of State for Security who tells us that the Home Secretary has no recollection of these figures and asked that I write to him.
I have done just that, with a copy of the quotes from the interview. I hope that this will jog the memory of the Home Secretary and we can get some honest answers.
Following the tragic and mindless murder of journalist Lyra McKee, the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland announced that all sides will be embarking on trying to get the power sharing agreement back online.
We have been without a Northern Ireland Assembly for over two years. The peace process is under tremendous strain because of other factors outside of Northern Irish politics – such as Brexit – and we need an executive back in Northern Ireland making decisions for their people.
I wanted to draw the Secretary of State’s attention to the St Andrew agreement struck by Tony Blair and the Northern Ireland office last time power sharing collapsed. We need focus from the very top of government to bring an end to this stalemate and restore peaceful local rule.
The tragic murder of journalist and human rights campaigner Lyra McKee last week in Derry/Londonderry is a dreadful reminder of the fragility of peace in Northern Ireland.
An Urgent Question was granted on Tuesday for MPs to ensure that all is being done by the UK Government to tackle terrorist activity in Northern Ireland.
I asked the Secretary of State how the Government will ensure that the New Irish Republican Army (NIRA), which is a proscribed terrorist organisation will be tackled head on. We need to be clear that being a member, supporting the work of, or promoting their heinous activities is a terrorist offence.
We have tragically lost the life of a promising young talent. Lyra has said in her previous work that she is a child of the peace process. We cannot go back to the dark days of the Troubles. We need to get all parties back around the table and for the power sharing agreement to be restored in Stormont.
It was announced that the UK Government will postpone elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly yet again.
The postponement of these elections means that we avoid having to undertake direct rule. If we ever reach the point of Direct Rule it will be a failure of this Government to get all parties involved around the table.
I noted in my question that way we overcome this impasse last time was by dedicated, and personal intervention, by the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach.