Northern Ireland Secretary welcomes united condemnation of violence

Speaking to the media at Stormont House in Belfast, Secretary of State Brandon Lewis welcomes the condemnation of violence from all the Stormont parties and expresses his confidence in the PSNI. Mr Lewis denied that the UK Government had abandoned unionists through the new Brexit arrangements - one of the concerns inflaming tensions among loyalists that have sparked a week of violence, which police said has been on a scale not seen in recent years. Mr Lewis arrived in Northern Ireland on Thursday following violent scenes at a Belfast interface on Wednesday evening, to speak to political and faith leaders.

Video Transcript

BRANDON LEWIS: Afternoon. Sorry we'll get wet now. Trace, I think you're--

- Sorry, [INAUDIBLE]

BRANDON LEWIS: Oh, no. I'm good. Whatever questions you've got, go on.

- OK. [INAUDIBLE]

BRANDON LEWIS: I welcome the statement from the executive today. It's really good to see all five parties cross community, coming together with a clear common statement, which is that violence is not acceptable. There is no legitimization of violence for any particular issue, whether it's a range of issues the PSNI have referenced today.

- I'll be the first to acknowledge over the first few months of this year there were real issues around how the protocol has landed for people, both as consumers and those in the Unionist loyalist community, that sense of identity. The way to deal with these things is through a diplomatic, democratic political process. There is no legitimization or excuse to take it to violence to deal with any of these issues. And it doesn't serve anybody's cause, whatever their concern is on any given issue, to take it to violence.