There is very clear distinction between victims and actors: Villiers

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The Secretary of State Theresa Villiers says there’s a clear distinction between victims and perpertrators of the Troubles and that she hopes controversy surrounding this doesn’t block a bid to inroduce a pension for severely physically injured victims.

She made the statement in agreement with DUP MP Gregory Campbell, who raised the matter in the wake of the Stormont House Agreement.

“The Secretary of State alluded to the need to ensure that the process did not become a rewriting of history. Will she go further and indicate to the wider public in Northern Ireland that there has to be a distinction between the genuinely innocent victims in the past who were murdered and butchered, and those who caused that murder and butchery and happened to be caught up in violence of their own hand?” asked Mr Campbell.

Mrs Villiers replied: “Of course there is a very clear distinction between those two. I know that there continues to be controversy around the way that the law defines a victim, which has been the barrier to taking forward the proposal for a pension for severely physically injured victims. The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that the agreement commits to there being further work on whether we can find a way to enable that pension to be taken forward without raising those problems around the definition of ‘victim.’ It is a difficult issue, but one that we should all continue to try to find an answer to.”