Victims campaigner warns suspension of parliament ‘could wreck peace process’

A victims campaigner who is challenging Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament has warned him he could be the prime minister who wrecks the Northern Ireland peace process.

Raymond McCord launched a legal bid to injunct the move in Belfast on Thursday morning.

Mr McCord, whose son Raymond Jnr was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1997, was already pursing legal proceedings against the potential proroguing of Parliament.

His emergency injunction application at Belfast High Court was adjourned for 24 hours.

Northern Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, who sat for the short hearing on Thursday, agreed to give the legal parties a further day to prepare for a substantive hearing on Friday morning.

Afterwards, Mr McCord told the PA news agency: “I don’t want a Brexit, more importantly I don’t want a no-deal Brexit and also I don’t want Parliament suspended.

“I think it is totally against the democratic process and it’s unconstitutional and it’s being done for political purposes – it’s not being done for the good of the people.”

He added: “I believe what Boris Johnson is doing, it’s not a case of if it will affect, I believe it will affect the peace process here.

“Donald Tusk (European Council president) last week was talking about Boris Johnson being known as the ‘no-deal prime minister’. For me he could be the prime minister who wrecks the peace process in Northern Ireland.

“My main concern is first and foremost the peace process, I certainly don’t want to go back to the bad old days. I have grandchildren and I want them to live in a relatively peaceful place and society and have a future.”

He accused the Government of failing to outline the implications of a no-deal Brexit in Northern Ireland and challenged the Conservatives’ DUP allies to tell people what they could face after October 31.

Mr McCord urged the region’s politicians to come to court for Friday’s hearing.

“There’s no use doing microphone politics, they should be down in the courts themselves,” he said.

“I would like to see all the parties down, even the DUP.

“Perhaps the DUP can tell us in the corridors how a no-deal Brexit is going to affect the citizens of Northern Ireland and the peace process – or are they saying it won’t affect it?”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Victoria Jones / PA Wire.