Belfast Telegraph

SDLP steps up murders probe call

By Colin O'Carroll

SDLP MPs have requested a meeting with the new shadow Secretary of State Vernon Coaker about the mounting calls for inquiries into the murders of Pat Finucane and the victims of the so-called Ballymurphy massacre.

Mr Coaker, a former teacher and former government whip to the NIO, was appointed by Labour leader Ed Miliband to replace Shaun Woodward who held the post for the past four years.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said: “The need for truth and justice for the Finucane and Ballymurphy families is stronger than ever and it is unacceptable for the British Government to simply rubbish the need for inquiries into these atrocious murders and brand them as too expensive.

“The SDLP at Westminster will continue to press the Tory government to deliver for these families and we will be urging the shadow Secretary of State, Vernon Croaker, to assist us in this quest for justice.”

On taking up his post, Mr Coaker said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

“I look forward to working with all the people of Northern Ireland, the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, building on the successes of Northern Ireland's cross-party Executive.”

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