Belfast Telegraph

On-the-runs: Tony Blair was the driving force, Commons told

By Arj Singh

Tony Blair is responsible for the so-called "comfort letters" sent to republican on-the-runs, one of his former ministers has said.

Labour's Kate Hoey said the former prime minister's letters to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams saying "we are going to sort this" showed he was responsible.

During a statement on Lady Justice Hallett's review in the Commons, Ms Hoey said there had been "very interesting" comments "about the push and the pressure on the police to get these letters out".

"That came from somewhere," she said. "Surely the real responsibility for all of this, whatever he did in terms of getting the peace process, must lie at the very heart of government, which was the letters that were coming from the Prime Minster to Gerry Adams saying we are going to sort this."

The DUP's Ian Paisley Jr said it would be a travesty if Mr Blair was "elevated to near sainthood" for brokering a peace deal in Northern Ireland, considering his potential involvement with the letters.

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