Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Vernon Coaker MP, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, speaking about The Queen's meeting with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA this morning, said:

"The image of The Queen and Martin McGuinness shaking hands is a remarkable testament to all those who have contributed to building peace in Northern Ireland.

"Today, in this year of her Diamond Jubilee, Her Majesty has again shown a unique ability to provide inspiration to the entire country in her dignity and service to our nation.

"I applaud Martin McGuinness for his leadership. His actions today, and over the last number of years, show his commitment to bringing about reconciliation and trying to heal the hurt of the past. I know that he and Peter Robinson, alongside their Ministerial colleagues in the Executive, will use this hugely symbolic moment to spur on their work to create a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland."

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