SDLP Leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie MLA has called on the British and Irish governments to live up to their roles as guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement by fulfilling their promises to victims.
Speaking after a meeting with the Prime Minister David Cameron today (9th June), Ms Ritchie also said that there needed to be a more cohesive relationship between the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland and Westminster in order to bring about the best possible conditions for economic recovery.
She said, “The Good Friday Agreement made promises to victims and the wider public who suffered during the Troubles about ways of addressing the past and recognising their hurt and loss in a proper and sensitive way. This simply did not happen.
“The British and Irish Governments as guarantors of that Agreement have a duty to be at the heart of any process that will ease the suffering of those victims who suffered during the conflict.
“I told the Prime Minister we must all work together for a positive and progressive future by easing the pain of the past.
“Furthermore, there must be a greater cohesive working relationship between our devolved institutions and Westminster. We must engage on the issues that matter most to the people we represent.
“The SDLP believe much more can be done with regards to tax-varying powers that would allow local decision-makers to take the necessary steps to boost job creation, pump-prime the economy and rebalance our economy.
“I sincerely hope that this visit by the Prime Minister today signals a first step in this direction,” she added.