Wednesday 7 March 2012
Volume 541 No. 275
HOUSE OF COMMONS OFFICIAL REPORT
PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES (HANSARD) Wednesday 7 March 2012
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7 MARCH 2012
House of Commons
crime or violence in Northern Ireland. I would appeal to everybody to work closely with the PSNI and to pursue whatever political aims they have through peaceful, democratic means.
Wednesday 7 March 2012
Robert Halfon: Does my right hon. Friend share my concern that, in what will be a high-profile year for the United Kingdom—and for Harlow, given the number of Olympic events happening in and around my constituency—the security threat in Northern Ireland remains at “severe”?
The House met at half-past Eleven o’clock PRAYERS [MR SPEAKER in the Chair] BUSINESS BEFORE QUESTIONS BRITISH MUSEUM (CLOCKS AND WATCHES) Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, That she will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this House a Return of the Report from the Honourable Sir Donnell Deeny, Chairman of the Spoliation Advisory Panel, dated 7 March 2012, in respect of fourteen clocks and watches now in the possession of the British Museum, London.—(Mr Jeremy Hunt.)
Oral Answers to Questions NORTHERN IRELAND The Secretary of State was asked— Security Situation 1. Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) (Con): What recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
11. Robert Halfon (Harlow) (Con): What recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr Owen Paterson): As I stated last week in my first bi-annual statement on the security situation in Northern Ireland, the threat remains severe. Tackling terrorism in all its forms and within the rule of law remains the highest priority for this Government. We will continue to work as closely as possible with our strategic partners in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government to counter this threat. Pauline Latham: I welcome the steps being taken to reduce the number of terrorist attacks in Northern Ireland, but as my right hon. Friend said in his recent written ministerial statement, violent activity is still being undertaken by loyalist organisations. What measures are being taken to address this issue? Mr Paterson: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question and would immediately like to pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, who has done a huge amount of work, talking to a number of loyalist groups. There is absolutely no place for organised
Mr Paterson: My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the Olympics, which present us with a wonderful opportunity to sell this country. Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain is graded as “substantial”. I work closely with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, and I saw the Minister for Justice in Northern Ireland on Monday. Together we are determined to ensure that there should be no threat to a peaceful and successful Olympics. Mr Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry) (DUP): The Secretary of State will be aware of a murder in Londonderry in recent weeks and the continuing targeting by dissident republicans of a number of people, and not just in the border area, but across Northern Ireland. Is he content in his discussions with the Chief Constable and