ARMED Forces Minister Adam Ingram was “not very comfortable” with sensitive legislation which would allow so-called on-the-runs to return to Northern Ireland, according to Tory MP Sir Patrick Cormack in the House of Commons yesterday. If he’s right – and Ingram said it was “painful and difficult” – it almost makes you wonder how Ingram might have reacted to the proposals for an amnesty at Weston Park, if he hadn’t been reshuffled a month beforehand.
Ingram comes close to admitting that the Bill isn’t something he is happy with:
The Bill is undoubtedly a difficult piece of legislation. I do not demur from that point of view at all. The question is whether it is necessary and whether it will move the process forward. Some will say no, some will say yes, and only time will tell whether we got it right.
That is pretty weak support from the Defence Minister – he’s damning it with faint praise. Bit of a shame that no MP used the time to ask him about the inclusion of members of the security forces in the amnesty, something that has to be causing controversy within the Minister’s own Ministry.