Judith Thompson’s reappointment as NI victims’ commissioner ‘a kick in the teeth’

Victims and Survivors Commissioner Judith Thompson
Victims and Survivors Commissioner Judith Thompson
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Judith Thompson has been reappointed as NI victims’ commissioner for a period of 12 months.

Secretary of State for NI Julian Smith announced the renewal of Ms Thompon’s term today, stating that it will run until August 2020.

He said the decision was taken in order to “provide immediate continuity of this essential role and allow Stormont’s political leaders - once they are back up and running - to determine the long term future of this role”.

A number of victims’ groups have called on Ms Thompson to resign from her position, claiming she has neither the “confidence nor trust” of a large number of the people she is responsible for representing.

It came after she reiterated her support for a pension for all those severely injured during the Troubles – including former paramilitaries who were injured while carrying out terrorist attacks.

TUV leader Jim Allister said the move was “nothing short of scandalous”.

He added: “The ccmmissioner has become a partisan figure in political terms - supported by nationalists while every unionist party has called for her to be replaced. What is remarkable is that she has retained her job in spite of a unionist party propping up the Government.

“Just last week I wrote to the Secretary of State to tell him that reappointing Judith Thompson would be preposterous and a calculated kick in the teeth for innocent victims. Sadly he has decided to deliver that kick in the full knowledge of the hurt and offence it will cause.

“If the Commissioner had any thought for the feelings of innocent victims she would recognise that her position is untenable and resign.”