“didn’t get the impression that it was a legal exercise being sought..”

This BBC report notes that Northern Ireland Finance minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, has been giving evidence today at the Billy Wright Inquiry about what Wright told him at his constituency office in the summer of 1996, and at a later meeting at the Maze prison. Wright was later shot and killed in the prison by INLA inmates. The Belfast Telegraph has more details here

The East Belfast MP said Wright came to see him at his constituency office in the summer of 1996 and claimed his name had come up in a July meeting at Downing Street involving two PUP members and two members of the UDA-aligned Ulster Democratic Party (UDP).

“He indicated that he had been informed by someone who was present at the meeting that reference was made to the Prime Minister about the difficulties he was causing and something needed to be done about it. He needed to be dealt with,” Mr Robinson said.

Shortly after the Downing Street meeting, the Combined Loyalist Military Command, encompassing the UVF and UDA, threatened Wright with “summary justice” if he did not leave Northern Ireland immediately.

And from the same report

The inquiry later heard that Wright was told David Ervine was the loyalist politician who had raised concerns about the LVF leader with Tony Blair [then-PM John Major] in Downing Street during the July 22, 1996 meeting.

Mr Robinson told the inquiry that from his conversation with Wright he “didn’t get the impression that it was a legal exercise being sought”.

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  • The Devil

    Hang on a second, what was Peter the Great doing visiting Billy the Rat who was serving time in jail for being a convicted terrorist…… am I missing something here

  • Comrade Stalin

    The East Belfast MP said Wright came to see him at his constituency office in the summer of 1996

    I’m very confused. I thought the DUP didn’t talk to terrorists ? Especially not while they were actively targetting civilians.

  • heck

    let met get this right, the british prime minister was discussing with members of the UDA that some one in Nor Iron had to be taken care of!!!

    forget peter robinson “talking to terrorists”.

    Just think of the implications of what is alleged.

  • Steve

    Very odd

    A topic about loyalist politicians and their pet terrorists and the commentariot goes strangely silent

    Okay not odd but par for the course

  • Reader

    heck: Just think of the implications of what is alleged.
    Dynamite! Though a bit garbled (who said what to whom?). Just as well there is such a cast iron audit trail for those Chinese Whispers (sorry – mixed metaphor). Oh – wait – you wouldn’t trust any of them as far as you could spit, would you?

  • Insider

    Just shows ya. Other politicians must not visit people in jail when asked and presumably dont meet people in their constituency advice centres.
    Why would anyone be surprised when he publicly told this story years ago in the House of Commons.