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Tony Blair 'must be quizzed on Gaddafi IRA lobby'

By Liam Clarke

Published 01/09/2015

Demand: Kenny Donaldson
Demand: Kenny Donaldson

A victims group in Northern Ireland has added its voice to calls for Tony Blair to be summoned before a powerful committee of MPs.

It follows claims that the former Prime Minister lobbied the British Government on behalf of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi shortly before the dictator was deposed in 2011.

The allegations were made in a biography of David Cameron, claiming the former Labour PM had approached Downing Street to say he had been contacted by "a key individual close to Gaddafi" and he wanted to "cut a deal".

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee - which is conducting an inquiry into the Libya campaign - indicated it was likely to ask Mr Blair to come and explain his involvement.

But Kenny Donaldson of Innocent Victims United also wants Mr Blair to appear before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee when it probes the issue of compensation for victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA violence.

Dozens of fatal IRA bombings used Semtex supplied by Gadaffi in the 70s and 80s.

Mr Donaldson said that "the principal person who can provide answers as to why the UK Government has failed its own citizens around these issues is former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"Victims and survivors expect Mr Blair to make himself available to the committee."

According to historian Sir Anthony Seldon's book, Mr Blair rang Number 10 to advise David Cameron that Gadaffi was prepared to "cut a deal".

But Mr Cameron did not follow up on the call and instead took military action to topple the dictator. Gaddafi was later killed by rebel fighters in Sirte.

Mr Donaldson said: "The Gaddafi regime's frozen assets (which are under the control of the UK) must be available in settling the existing writ and must also be made available for victims and survivors.

"We are particularly conscious of the support deficit which GB-based victims/survivors of terrorism have been subjected to - this must be rectified. There are literally thousands who have been physically and mentally scarred by Gaddafi-sponsored terrorism."

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