Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has angrily accused Lord Tebbit of publicly encouraging the assassination of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
Responding to the former Conservative chairman’s controversial remarks, Mr Adams said it was unacceptable for a member of the House of the Lords to openly support the shooting of a political leader.
“I fully understand that Norman Tebbit has himself been a victim of the political conflict and I regret that he has suffered grievously,” said Mr Adams, a former West Belfast MP and now TD for Louth in the Irish parliament.
“However, to publicly advocate the assassination of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is a shocking throwback to a violent past from which we are seeking to move on.”
Outspoken Lord Tebbit, who was injured with his wife during the 1984 IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, said he hoped Mr McGuinness is shot in the back for attending a state banquet at the invitation of the Queen.
Mr McGuinness said the remarks were “not fitting” for someone who holds high political office.
“Obviously the sentiments that he has expressed, I think, are not fitting for someone in the elected position he has been in for a very long time,” he said.
But he insisted he would not be drawn into a row over the comments.
“I’m not going to make an issue of it,” he said.
Lord Tebbit said the Queen had no choice about Mr McGuinness attending the state banquet at Windsor Castle on Tuesday night in honour of the visit of Irish President Michael D Higgins.
He said: “There’s always the possibility that a member of the Real IRA will be so outraged by Mr McGuinness bowing to the Queen that they might shoot him in the back for it.
“We can but hope.”