Judith Thompson 'surprised' at NI victims commissioner term ending

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The executive office have yet to appoint Judith Thompson's successor

The former victims commissioner says she was "surprised" when the first and deputy first minister did not renew her term beyond the end of August.

Judith Thompson said that in trying to deliver the best result for the greatest number of people she "said things which were deeply disagreed with by unionists and later by republicans".

It is the first time she has spoken since her term ended in August.

The executive office has yet to appoint her successor.

Speaking on the BBC's Red Lines podcast, Ms Thompson urged Stormont to act quickly as the role is an incredibly important one.

She said that she would "very much welcome the fact that we know that they are going to reappoint - I will be a strong supporter of whoever takes that role forward".

Image caption,
Ms Thompson was criticised over advice she presented about a Troubles pension

As victims commissioner, she has had to comment on a number of disputed legacy issues.

Those included the delay to the payment of Troubles pensions and the definition of a victim.

'Tipping point'

The move represents a significant rethink of legacy by Westminster.

"I think it will cause great hurt and division. It might it might also push people into a place where they have to agree something, because nobody will like what it looks like."

"I think we are at a tipping point which does make it a really bad time not to have commissioner.

"One thing I deeply regret obviously is not seeing this during my time in office, or not seeing it move further."

"We all, as civic society need to be playing our part in this."