Belfast Telegraph

State papers: Tory MP Budgen did not want Irish politicians in Westminster

By Brian Hutton

A prominent Tory MP who openly admitted avoiding "the blacks and Irish" in his constituency feared the "security implications" of allowing Irish politicians into Westminster.

Nicholas Budgen, who took over Enoch Powell's House of Commons seat for Wolverhampton South West, agreed to have lunch with Richard Ryan, a diplomat in the Irish Embassy, in March 1989.

Mr Ryan was trying to bolster support for - and stymie opposition to - the nascent British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body, made up of politicians in London and Dublin.

In his report back to Dublin about the meeting, Mr Ryan said Mr Budgen was "an ardent admirer of Enoch Powell" and told him "that Powell commented on our appointment that he would rather dine with Ribbentrop".

Mr Ryan went on to report that Mr Budgen "says openly" that he "makes every effort to avoid any direct contact with the blacks and Irish in his constituency." The diplomat wrote: "He is unsavoury and unlikely to ever hold an office of State."

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