“All a bit ambiguous..”

This UTV report might have been misled by the headline on the DUP statement – “An Amnesty Utterly Ruled Out Says Dodds” – but I’d agree with BBC’s political editor Mark Devenport’s more ambiguous take on the answer to the DUP’s Nigel Dodds’ question in the Commons today [scroll down] on the anonymously leaked proposals reportedly being considered by the Eames/Bradley consultative group

Mr. Nigel Dodds (Belfast, North) (DUP): Will the Prime Minister take the opportunity to pay tribute once again to the gallant service of the security forces of Northern Ireland in the fight against terrorism and crime over many decades of violence? Will he also take the opportunity to rubbish any attempt by the commission on the past in Northern Ireland to validate or vindicate terrorists and criminals in their sordid terrorist war by describing it as a war? Will he utterly rule out any suggestion of an amnesty for terrorists and criminals?

The Prime Minister: Yes, and it is important to say two things. First, our respect for the security services, the police and the armed forces for the difficult job they did over many years and for the loss of life suffered as a result of their difficult work is clear. Secondly, it is important to move forward with reconciliation. The efforts made by a number of bodies, including the one to which the hon. Gentleman referred, are an important element of building for the future. What we want is a safe, secure, peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland. [added emphasis]

Adds It’s probably also worth listening to Gordon Brown’s answer – via the 10 Downing St archive [Real Player file approx 16.38 mins in]