Brown vetoed IRA bomb victims’ compensation bid – Sunday Times

Jeffrey Donaldson will surely have a good deal to say about the Sunday Times’ latest claims, that Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell wrote to him as long ago as January, implying that Gordon Brown forestalled compensation for IRA bomb victims because of oil interests and Libya’s new found cooperation in the “war” against terror. That at any rate is the interpretation the Sunday Times puts on the letter but if it’s right, why hasn’t Donaldson spoken out long ago?. However, a letter from the Prime Minister himself to victims’ lawyer Jason Mc Cue appears to make the point more clearly. You might have thought that Gadaffi’s alleged willingness to compensate the victims might have been encouraged as an earnest of his new good intentions, wouldn’t you? There’s a lot more to come out about this. No 10 is quoted as saying: “Trade considerations were not a factor in the government’s decision not to enter into direct negotiations with Libya on this issue. The prime minister is sympathetic to the case put forward by the families of victims of IRA atrocities.” So what were the reasons for “not entering into” negotiations if as the Libyans hint, they may have been willing to deal? Might it have been the upfront release of Megrahi by any chance? Extracts from the Sunday Times story below the fold. GORDON BROWN personally vetoed an attempt to force Colonel Muammar Gadaffi to compensate IRA bomb victims because it might have jeopardised British oil deals with Libya.
Documents passed to The Sunday Times reveal how the prime minister took a close interest in a campaign to secure payouts for the 2,500 families of those blown up by the Libyan-supplied Semtex explosive used by republican bombers.
A letter from Bill Rammell, then the Middle East minister, sent on November 6, 2008 to Jonathan Ganesh, who was injured in the 1996 Docklands bomb and now campaigns for IRA victims, states that oil contracts were a factor in the government’s failure to act.
Rammell wrote: “Libya is now a vital partner for the UK in guaranteeing a secure energy future for the UK and is also a key partner in the fight against terrorism. While I recognise that this will be of little comfort to you, it is vital for the UK’s present and future security that this continues.”
Rammell again alludes to oil deals in a letter dated January 13 this year to Jeffrey Donaldson, the prominent Democratic Unionist MP: “Libya’s relations with the United Kingdom have developed in recent years to a point where we liaise in a number of wide-ranging areas including energy and counterterrorism.”
The letters also reveal that Brown was personally involved in the decision not to push Gadaffi on IRA compensation.. Brown said in a letter to Jason McCue, the victims’ lawyer, dated October 7, 2008: “The UK government does not consider it appropriate to enter into a bilateral discussion with Libya on this matter.”

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    I wonder will the thousands of Iraqis civilains killed and injured by the RAF be lodging compensation claims – could be an expensive precedent for Britain to establish if they give governmental support for this campaign.

    There are certainly question marks over the leigitmacy of the Provo campaign but it was at least inspired by desire to unify the country whereas the British policy in Iraq was based on support for the crazy Evangelical right wing polices of Mr Bush.

    If the victims of IRA are to be compensated for a war fought in their own country then the British should have to pay compensation for a war fought in someone elses on the basis of a trumped up charge.

  • Pigeon Toes
  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Kinda show’s that the political elite would do anything for money and oil. Peoples lives are expendable!

  • Nothing new there, Greagoir 🙁

  • “We appreciate the assistance the Foreign Office can offer.” JD in BT

    But has the FCO actually offered assistance?

    Have visas for the delegation to visit Libya been granted?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    It is surprising that there is not more made about this whole awful debacle.

    Blame was initially heaped on the SNP and the Scottish government but Westminster/London was behind the whole sinister deals.

    In order to further their agenda the British government (and indeed governments worldwide) will peddle any lies to the public. The war in the Middle East is really just about oil and money as has always been said, but the young lads are coming home in boxes from far away Afghanistan and all for Britain’s “democracy” so we are told.

    And in the case of NI but there must be some awful lies, corruption etc…still hidden.

  • DC

    Nice to see Gordon Brown’s moral compass approach is as bust as ever, let’s just get this election over with.

    “Kinda show’s that the political elite would do anything for money and oil. Peoples lives are expendable!”

    Yes very fitting to Northern Ireland’s recent political turnarounds.

  • DC

    The war in the Middle East is really just about oil and money as has always been said, but the young lads are coming home in boxes from far away Afghanistan and all for Britain’s “democracy” so we are told.

    But, where would we be without oil and money, good on ’em – and thanks!

  • AS

    Why did Donaldson not know about this before the Sunday Times, could it be that the PM isn’t the only MP with a eye on the forthcoming election

  • timetomoveon

    Another piece of hypocrisy and non story from the UK government,wee Jeffery, the DUP and IRA bomb victims. They winge to the UK government because they go to the lybian government cap in hand in a bid to get compensation and the UK government vetoed them getting any money at all when they turned down £12,000 pounds from the Eames/Bradley commision. Isn’t time we moved on and leave these people behind the war is over, we have a new start lets build on it instead of harking back to the past like the DUP and others want us to do these people will never change even how much money they get they will still look more. These people are a DUP vehicle for the next election

  • timetomoveon

    Another piece of hypocrisy and non story from the UK government,wee Jeffrey, the DUP and IRA bomb victims. They winge to the UK government because they go to the lybian government cap in hand in a bid to get compensation and the UK government vetoed them getting any money at all when they turned down £12,000 pounds from the Eames/Bradley commission. Isn’t time we moved on and leave these people behind the war is over, we have a new start lets build on it instead of harking back to the past like the DUP and others want us to do these people will never change even how much money they get they will still look more. These people are a DUP vehicle for the next election

  • William

    Oh yes, ‘timetomoveon’ ….. forget about those who were killed or seriously injured by the IRA….helps to airbrush the past of the 5 Provos currently in our rotten local parliament.

  • timetomoveon

    It not the fact i want to airbrush them out i do acknowledge there was victims on both side but it is really time to move on this country we are always harking to the past and that is what is holding us back these are being used as a DUP vehicle look at willie fraser as a example then you will see why this country move on.