Nationalist anger as Hain faces down court criticism
Nationalist anger as Hain faces down court criticism

British Direct Ruler Peter Hain has been urged to resign after the Belfast High Court last week found that he had actged improperly in making public appointments as political concessions to the DUP.

Mr Justice Girvan last week called for “an immediate and searching inquiry at a high level” into an attempt by British officials to deceive the court over the true nature of the appointment of a Victims Commissioner.

Mr Hain has come under fire from the Welsh assembly, with Conservative MP David Jones urging him to consider his positions as Welsh and Northern Ireland secretary if the judge’s criticism is upheld.

Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd also described the judge’s criticisms as “devastating” and called for an independent inquiry.

Mr Hain has yet to confirm whether an inquiry will be held or an appeal brought against the judgement.

Speaking outside the Welsh assembly, he said he had been acting on behalf of victims and would continue to do so.

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has accused Mr Hain of “complete arrogance” in trying to “laugh off the implications of the judgment”.

“Peter Hain’s approach to the appointment of Victims Commissioner was bad enough in the first instance,” she said.

“Having been found in court as acting illegally and receiving unprecedented criticism from the judge in the case many would have thought that Mr Hain would have tried to undo the damage and offence he has caused to many victims and act on the verdict of the court.

“Instead in an arrogant almost colonial fashion Mr Hain has attempted to laugh off the implications of the judgement and has instead sought to defend the indefensible.

“His comments over the past two days in relation to Brenda Downes court challenge have displayed insensitivity and a complete arrogance. It has to be said that this is typical of the approach being adopted to the wider issue of victims and truth by the British State.

“Mr Hain needs to realise that the judgement in this case does have serious implications both for himself and his department. Ignoring it or attempting to minimise its implications simply will not wash with victims organisations.”

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