Tebbit addresses terror victims at Westminster

Kenny Donaldson, Director of Services of the South East Fermanagh Foundation, with Tory peer Norman Tebbit and SEFF Chairman, Eric Brown, during a briefing at Westminster.
Kenny Donaldson, Director of Services of the South East Fermanagh Foundation, with Tory peer Norman Tebbit and SEFF Chairman, Eric Brown, during a briefing at Westminster.

Former Tory cabinet minister Norman Tebbit has told a group of MPs and Lords that the peace process was “wrong” and that terrorists have never acknowledged that their actions were also wrong.

He was speaking at a special briefing at Westminster organised by victim’s group, the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF).

The Tory peer was a senior cabinet minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government and is a former Chairman of the Conservative Party.

In 1984, he was injured in the IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where he was staying during the Conservative Party Conference. His wife Margaret was left permanently disabled by the explosion.

Speaking to terror victims from Northern Ireland and Great Britain at Portcullis House on Wednesday, he said: “PIRA wanted a ceasefire, they recognised they had been defeated militarily, had Airey Neave not been murdered then the terms of that ceasefire would have been very different. The Peace Process that developed was wrong and it has led us to where we are today.

“Terrorists have never acknowledged that they were wrong and in the absence of that, how can victims ever be expected to forgive?”.

Airey Neave MP was a close adviser to Mrs Thatcher, he led her campaign to become the Conservative Party leader and headed her private office. He was assassinated in 1979 in a car-bomb attack claimed by the INLA.

Wednesday’s briefing included testimony from several victims of terrorism, a presentation from SEFF on the proposed Stormont House Agreement institutions and details of what victims are requesting from the UK government. The audience included over 30 MPs, Lords and policy makers.