It is a relief that the PM has commented on legacy scandal

Morning View
Morning View

It is a huge relief to hear the prime minister comment clearly on the legacy scandal in Northern Ireland.

Theresa May was writing to veterans who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

Mrs May has voiced similar concerns in the House of Commons, and the Secretary of State James Brokenshire has also written about the scandal.

Alarmingly though, when nationalists cried foul Mr Brokenshire appeared to retreat in tone.

Not only should there be no retreat, a complete overhaul of the current approach to legacy cases is needed, now that the PSNI legacy branch has become bogged down in workload that disproportionately examines alleged state wrongdoing.

The government is putting its faith in the Stormont House Agreement.

However, the European Convention on Human Rights has led us to legacy inquests that will be seized upon by Sinn Fein to justify IRA terrorism.

Now that, scandalously, elderly soldiers are facing trial for split second decisions taken decades ago, urgent action is needed to rectify the imbalance.

Unless and until a body such as the Historical Inquiries Unit is clearly seen to be succeeding in uncovering evidence that is likely to lead to criminal trials of the worst terrorists, and some sort of faith in the wider criminal justice system is restored, it is important that the ball gets rolling on private civil cases against IRA killers.

Theresa May is right to clearly place the On The Run scandal at the door of a Labour government that repeatedly appeased Sinn Fein, out of its fear that the IRA would return to violence.

We trust that a leader as strong as Mrs May is even more bothered about the current imbalance than she has in fact been able to express in a letter that she must have known might reach a wider audience.