The Secretary of State for the North, Karen Bradley, has said last month’s bomb blast in Derry city centre had nothing to do with Brexit or the political evacuation of Stormont.
Speaking in the House of Commons this week Mrs. Bradley said police had told her during a recent visit to the city that only the self-styled ‘IRA’ could be blamed for the Bishop Street explosion.
The Secretary of State dismissed comments by her Labour shadow, Tony Lloyd, that linked the courthouse bomb with the political vacuum in the North.
Mr. Lloyd stated: “The Good Friday Agreement built new institutions that were needed to instil the belief that political change could deliver for the people of NI rather than simply relying on the guns and the bomb.
“In the absence of those institutions, we saw the bomb in Derry. In the absence of those institutions, we see the paramilitaries still with a grip on organised crime in different parts of Northern Ireland. We need to see Stormont back.”
But Mrs. Bradley said the only people responsible for the Derry attack were the bombers themselves.
“The hon. Gentleman talked about the incident in Derry/Londonderry a few weeks ago,” she said:
“I was in the city last week, and I met people who were directly affected, including the police officers. They did incredible work that night, working towards danger when others would run, and I pay great tribute to them. But they were very clear, as have been the PSNI and many others, that nobody should attribute anything that happened that evening in Derry/Londonderry to either the absence of institutions or Brexit. The only people responsible for what happened in Derry/Londonderry that night were the terrorists, and they are the ones we need to condemn,” she insisted.