“The HET is doing very good work, so it should be retained.”

In the Observer Henry McDonald reports the opinion of the Conservative Party’s shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson, MP, on retaining and expanding the role of the Historical Enquiries Team. It makes sense politically but there’s no mention of the necessary funding.. and if policing and justice powers were devolved by that time? Adds It’s a response to the proposals contained in the Consultative Group on the Past’s report.

Owen Paterson, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, told the Observer that in power the Conservatives would keep the team in business. Paterson also repeated his pledge that a Tory government would scrap plans under Eames/Bradley to hand over £12,000 to relatives of everyone who died in the Troubles, including families of dead terrorists. “I am impressed by the historical enquiries team’s work so far. I think their remit should be brought up to date. The HET is doing very good work, so it should be retained. Their role should be expanded – they could, for instance, conduct a new inquiry into the Omagh bomb,” Paterson said.