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  1. ITV Report

Secretary of State meets Finucane family at Stormont House

The Finucane family met Brandon Lewis at Stormont House on Friday. Credit: UTV

The widow of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has been told that the British Government will issue a response to the Supreme Court ruling over the investigation into her husband's death in a "matter of weeks".

Geraldine and a number of members of the Finucane family met Northern Ireland's new Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, at Stormont House on Friday.

Pat Finucane was shot by loyalist paramilitaries in front of his family in Belfast in 1989 in collusion with state security forces.

In February last year, the Supreme Court ruled that investigations into the fatal shooting of the Belfast solicitor have not been effective and fell short of international human rights standards.

Mrs Finucane has been critical of the British Government's delayed response to the judgment.

Speaking outside Stormont, she said: "We came today to meet the Secretary of State to hear the response of the Government and what they intend to do.

"We did not hear anything - they have not made up their mind what they're going to do.

"The Secretary of State has said he has a report to read and when he has read that he will speak to the Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) and they will make a decision in the case.

"He said that will happen in a matter of weeks, not months. I hope that is the case."

Last month, a Belfast High Court ruled that Mrs Finucane can challenge the British Government's alleged failure to act on the ruling.

She added: "He (Mr Lewis) did not make the excuse that he's only into the job but we did point out that in the past year there have been three secretary of states and no decision has been made and it's about time - there is no reason why it has been this long."

Mrs Finucane was joined by her sons, North Belfast MP John Finucane and Michael, as well as Pat's brother Martin during the meeting.

John said: "It's worth remembering we've been forced to bring the British Government to court to elicit the response to the Supreme Court judgment from last February.

"We were promised meetings by (former secretaries of state) Karen Bradley and Julian Smith, they didn't materialise and we initiated court proceedings which we shouldn't have to do - to force the Government to respond.

"Brandon Lewis did want to meet us today and he did. We didn't want to come here just for the sake of meetings, we wanted something tangible.

"We wanted to know what the Government's response is. We are no further on in that sense today.

"But we have been given a commitment that their response will be forthcoming within weeks.

"We have been through this for 31 years so we will judge, if and when, the response comes within those weeks."