Belfast Telegraph

'Shoot Martin McGuinness' remark was a mistake, says Norman Tebbit

By Colin Francis

Former Conservative Party chairman Norman Tebbit has admitted he "made a mistake" over saying Martin McGuinness should be shot.

The peer, whose wife was paralysed in the 1984 IRA Brighton bomb, suggested dissident republicans might shoot him for attending a Royal banquet.

His remarks were criticised as "highly dangerous" by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

Lord Tebbit said he now regretted the trouble his comments had caused.

Asked if he would withdraw his remarks, Lord Tebbit said: "I don't think I would advise anyone or entreaty anybody to shoot Mr McGuinness – I would welcome it if he was brought to trial, of course."

Lord Tebbit said the criticism of his remarks by Mr McGuinness were "a bit rich".

"When he has owned up to the crimes that were plotted and carried out by the IRA when he was a leader and could have said 'no we must not do that', when he has pleaded for forgiveness and expressed his repentance then, of course, I would be very pleased to meet him and talk about those things," he said.

He said his wife Margaret had not been in good health since she was injured in the bombing of the Tory party conference.

"She is in a great deal of pain, she is extremely limited in what she can do and she is entirely dependent on people to look after her," he said.

"She lives a very restricted life – she is in prison."

Further reading

Gerry Adams slams Norman Tebbit's 'shooting hope'

Norman Tebbit: I hope Real IRA dissidents shoot Martin McGuinness for attending State banquet with Queen at Windsor Castle 

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