Northern Ireland news

Institutional abuse legislation expected next week

Margaret McGuckian of Savia

LEGISLATION to compensate survivors of institutional abuse is expected to come before Westminster next week.

MPs returning to the House of Commons this week voted against adjourning for next week's Conservative party conference.

After the government lost the vote, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg announced that non-controversial business would be heard.

He confirmed members would debate to approve a motion relating to historical institutional abuse on Monday.

It is more than two-and-a-half years since an inquiry exposed serious sexual, physical and emotional abuse over decades at children's homes run by religious orders, charities and the state.

It recommended compensation payments, an apology and care packages for victims and survivors. But the process stalled due to the collapse of Stormont in January 2017.

Secretary of State Julian Smith had said the compensation bill needed to be put before Westminster as soon as possible.

Margaret McGuckin, of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) said she was "delighted" with the news.

"It is procedural, but we believe that it will go through an accelerated passage," she added.

MPs will also discuss other parts of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act 2019 relating to human trafficking, gambling and pension for victims and survivors of Troubles-related incidents.

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