The refusal by the DUP and Sinn Féin to establish an Executive is responsible for prolonging the suffering of victims and survivors of institutional abuse, Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has said.
The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the High Court ruled there was no legal failure by the Secretary of State to implement the recommendations of the Hart Inquiry into institutional abuse. Victims and survivors had wanted Karen Bradley to take action due to the ongoing political impasse.
"I am utterly devastated for the victims and survivors of institutional abuse after today's court verdict," said Ms Bradshaw.
"Implementation of this scheme and other recommendations should not have been delayed by years and should not have needed to end up in the legal system. Responsible parties would long ago have overcome their differences, not least for the sake of victims and survivors, whose suffering has now been prolonged again.
"Listening to the interviews conducted by those victims and survivors after today's verdict would have drawn blood from a stone. I call on Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill to show compassion and do their part to help end the pain for victims and their loved ones.