» Wednesday, February 9, 2005

PM Apology

Asked if the Prime Minister would make an apology to those wrongly convicted of the Guilford Pub bombings at Prime Minister’s Question Time, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that it was entirely a matter for the speaker. Who he called and whether such an opportunity would arise was up to him. What he could say was that all those involved with Northern Ireland lived with the pain of the past and the unfortunate fact was that you could do nothing to change the past. Sometimes however there was an opportunity to at least ease the pain of the present. It was the decent thing to do if you were in that situation to take that opportunity. Asked if the wording had already been negotiated, the PMOS said that we should wait and see what happened. It was a matter of record that the leader of the SDLP had suggested to the Prime Minister that the Prime Minister should write to him. The Prime Minister had written acknowledging that there had been a miscarriage of justice and expressing his regret for that. That was last April. The Taoiseach raised the matter last week, as again did the leader of the SDLP.

Asked if this had been timed to coincide with recent disagreements with the IRA, the PMOS said no. This should be seen for what it was: a distinct, specific request to acknowledge the mistakes of the past. People should not play politics with this, but see it as a distinct episode. Mistakes had been made and it was right and proper that those mistakes were acknowledged. Asked why specifically it was being acknowledged now given that the miscarriage of justice was admitted 15 years ago, the PMOS said that the family felt that an open acknowledgement would ease what they saw as their continuing trauma. If that was the case then it was the decent thing to do.

Asked what the Prime Minister had actually said in the letter last April, the PMOS said that, from memory, the letter had acknowledged that had been a clear miscarriage of justice, sincerely regretting that miscarriage of justice, and recognising that those who had been accused were innocent.

Asked if the Government had acknowledged this at the time, the PMOS said that what the Conlan family wanted was an open apology and if that was the case then that was the decent thing to do.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


February 2005
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jan   Mar »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh