Former Labour Secretary of State Peter Hain’s latest call for a de facto Troubles amnesty contradicts his own party’s call for a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, Lord Empey has said.
Mr Hain has made clear that he wants to see an end to prosecutions for Troubles’ atrocities but insists that his proposal does not amount to an amnesty.
But Lord Empey said it was “an example of a double standard which undermines our institutions”.
The UUP peer said: “I note Peter Hain’s comments that we should move on in Northern Ireland and his view that we have to swallow hard on what has happened in the past and not pursue possible criminals in the wider interests of the ‘peace process’.
“However, it is Peter Hain’s Labour Party that has pledged to open an inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane.
“How can we take Peter’s comments seriously when his party committed itself last year to a full scale inquiry after a meeting with the Finucane family?”
The UUP chairman and former party leader added: “I think Peter Hain needs to convince his own party before he will have any success convincing anybody else that the past can be dealt with in this one-sided way.”
UUP MEP Jim Nicholson also condemned Mr Hain’s recent comments, saying that they showed “a disturbing willingness to turn a blind eye to the heinous criminality committed by the IRA and other terror groups during the Troubles in the interests of political expediency”.