As the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, said, “It is absolutely not an option to leave a [Parades Commission] hole.”
And, following the shelving of the Sinn Féin/DUP drafted Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests Bill, today the Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Hugo Swire, announced “the launch of an open competition for appointment to the posts of chairman and members of the Parades Commission.”
[Hugo Swire] said: “Regrettably in the absence of a local solution to a new framework for parading I have been left with no alternative but to begin the process of making appointments to the Parades Commission in time for next year’s marching season.
“I have therefore today launched a recruitment competition to make appointments to the position of Commission Chairman and six members of the Commission.
“The role of the Parades Commission remains extremely important and challenging. I would encourage individuals to apply who have a genuine interest in ensuring that the rights of those who parade and those who are affected by parading are treated with equal respect.”