Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

MPs urge rethink on Finucane review

Solicitor Pat Finucane was murdered in a loyalist shooting in 1989

The Government has come under renewed pressure from two MPs to rethink its approach to the review into the murder of Northern Ireland solicitor Pat Finucane.

Former Labour Northern Ireland secretary Paul Murphy, who represents Torfaen, told MPs during Commons questions to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland there was now "widespread opposition" to the proposal for "a semi-inquiry".

Addressing Owen Paterson, he said: "I wonder if the Secretary of State understands that by going ahead with his proposal, £1.5 million is likely to be wasted and will he now rethink?"

Mr Finucane's widow last week said she felt "angry" and "insulted" after David Cameron told her he was proposing a QC-led review of her husband's case.

After meeting the Prime Minister in Number 10, Geraldine Finucane told reporters the whole family was "very disappointed" and would not support the initiative. The Finucanes want a full independent inquiry into the loyalist shooting in 1989.

Mr Paterson maintained the chosen measures would "get to the truth as fast as possible".

He said: "I'm sorry that we disagree on this. He committed to a public inquiry, but he then passed the Inquiries Act and we know that was the stumbling block and we inherited a complete impasse."

SDLP's Margaret Ritchie, MP for South Down, also urged the Government to reflect on the comments made by both the Finucane family and the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Dublin.

She warned it "could undermine the very architecture of the Good Friday Agreement".

Mr Paterson said: "We will not let this one issue undermine the extraordinary good relations we have with the Republic, nor will we let it undermine the settlement."

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