Irish Republican News · October 1, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: McBride campaign wins support
McBride campaign wins support

Sarah Teather, the newly elected MP for Brent East in London, has expressed her backing for the campaign seeking justice for Peter McBride who was shot by Scots Guards in Belfast in 1992. Kelly McBride, sister of the victim, stood as an independent in the Brent East by-election.

In an upset, Teather won the by-election for the Liberal Democrat Party, capturing the seat from Tony Blair's Labour party.

Brent Labour councillor Colum Moloney admitted that the Peter McBride case had been a factor in the campaign.

``The McBride issue is an issue that the government of the day and MPs from all parties have got to look at,'' he said.

``There is a genuine grievance there. Her brother was murdered in cold blood and the people who did the murder were tried by the judicial system and sent to prison, and released and then taken back into the army, which I certainly believe shouldn't have happened, and so do many people in Brent and in the Irish community in general.''

The new MP praised Kelly.

``I think she is immensely courageous. And I feel very strongly about the issue she raises,'' said Teather.

``I agree with the McBrides entirely. It is outrageous that the two Scots Guards remain in the Army. I will raise the matter in Westminster, and will be keeping in close touch with Kelly.''

SPELLAR `NOT AWARE' OF PROMOTION

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Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has denied that that then Armed Forces Minister John Spellar, who chaired the British Army Board, was aware of the promotion handed to one of Peter McBride's convicted killers.

Last week the MoD admitted that one of the soldiers was promoted while the Board was still deliberating on the future of the two convicted murderers.

Spellar currently has responsibilty for human rights in the North of Ireland under Direct [British] Rule.

Supporters of the campaign have ridiculed the suggestion that the promotion of a convicted murderer in a highly controversial case, while a court ordered tribunal was reconsidering whether this person was even fit to serve in the army, was a `routine matter.'

Spokesperson for the Pat Finucane Centre said, ``There are serious question marks hanging over the most senior political representative on the Board, John Spellar. Was he unaware that the MoD had intervened before the Board had made a decision?

``If he was unaware, that in itself is a scandal. There are also serious question marks hanging over the most senior officer in the British Army, former paratrooper General Mike Jackson, who also sat on the Board.

``Someone under his command decided to pre-empt the Army Board and give the two fingers to a Belfast Court. Was he unaware of this?''

© 2003 Irish Republican News