Victims commissioner for Northern Ireland appointed


KATHRYN STONE, the chief executive of British learning disability charity Voice UK, was yesterday appointed commissioner for victims and survivors for Northern Ireland by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The new commissioner will take up her £67,275 a year post on September 24th. She will be the sole head of the commission.

Previously, due to political disagreement and in order to try to provide community balance, there were four commissioners – Bertha McDougall, Brendan McAllister, Patricia MacBride and Mike Nesbitt.

Mr Nesbitt moved on to become leader of the Ulster Unionist Party while Ms McDougall did not put her name forward for the new post. Among the unsuccessful applicants for the job were Ms MacBride and Mr McAllister.

Before taking over as head of Voice UK Ms Stone was principal inspector for Milton Keynes council and head of inspection for the London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, and Barking and Dagenham, with responsibility for the regulation of residential, nursing and day care.

She also worked as an independent inspector for eight UK local authorities.

Mr Robinson said she would be a “true champion for the cause and provide the necessary representation that victims and survivors require and deserve”.

Mr McGuinness thanked the previous commissioners.