Karen Bradley and Tony Lloyd considering joint visit to Derry to meet those affected by bomb and alerts

The British Secretary of State for the North, Karen Bradley, is considering a joint visit to Derry with her Labour opposite number, Tony Lloyd, to meet some of those people affected by the weekend's bomb and security alerts in the city.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 3:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:32 pm
Joint visit considered.

The Rochdale MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the North, issued the invitation in the House of Commons.

He said: "I want to make her an offer, which she may want to take up. I will travel with her to Derry to meet local politicians in the local community to show that this House of Commons is absolutely unified in its condemnation of terror and its desire to say that there is a better way. Politics must offer that better way."

DUP MP for East Derry Gregory Campbell encouraged Mrs. Bradley to take up the offer.

He said: "I live in Londonderry, three miles from the scene of the bombing, and some of my constituents were in the vicinity, although they were thankfully unharmed."

Mr. Campbell said it would be a good idea for both Mrs. Bradley and Mr. Lloyd to meet the cross-statutory and multi-sector Unity of Purpose Group in Derry, which has regularly issued joint statements in the past when there have been similar spikes in violent republican activity.

"May I go further and ask her to respond positively to the offer from the Labour spokesperson? She is aware of a group called Unity of Purpose in Londonderry," he said.

"All of us politicians regularly meet business people and others in the private sector not only to condemn such violence, but to take steps to ensure that information is given to the police and that those apprehended are brought before the courts. A positive response to that offer would be a physical manifestation of solidarity with us all," added Mr. Campbell.

Mrs. Bradley said: "The hon. Gentleman welcomed me to Londonderry a few months ago—it was an honour to be there—and introduced me to several of his constituents. I was very warmly welcomed. His idea about Unity of Purpose is a very good one, and we will look into it."