Friday, November 21, 2008

Gordon Brown reconsiders seeking compensation from Libya for victims of IRA

PM urged to assist IRA victims

19 November 2008

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown has been urged to follow America's lead and seek compensation from Libya for victims of IRA attacks.

The call was made by Labour MP Andrew McKinlay during Prime Minister's Questions in Parliament on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Ulster victims' hopes of compensation over terrorist tragedies appeared dashed when Mr Brown indicated in a letter to lawyers representing IRA victims he would be unwilling to seek compensation, despite the US government acting on behalf of American citizens.

In response to Mr McKinlay, the Prime Minister indicated he would "review" the matter.

Semtex originating from Libya is thought to have been used in terrorist attacks in the 1980s and 90s, including the Enniskillen Remembrance bomb.

Mr McKinlay asked Mr Brown: "Will you agree to meet a delegation of MPs including myself who lost constituents due to the use by the IRA of Semtex and other weapons which had its provenance in Libya.

"We are disappointed that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not yet taken the initiative of following America's example of negotiating with Colonel Gaddafi adequate compensation, and I believe that members on all sides of the House really would want to press you, along with victims' families, to address this wrong."

Mr Brown replied: "This is a very important point. I would be very happy to meet you to talk about it and then we will review what we do."

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