James Brokenshire has challenged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to answer five questions on the IRA, following a weekend dominated by Mr Corbyn’s attitude to the terrorist group.
In a Sky News interview, Mr Corbyn was asked repeatedly to condemn the IRA.
He replied: “I condemn all the bombings by both the loyalists and the IRA.”
Today, the Northern Ireland Secretary has issued “five clear questions” for Mr Corbyn and his top team to answer.
Mr Brokenshire said: “In view of their statements in recent days I challenge them to answer the following questions:
“1. Should the IRA’s acts of murder be condemned unequivocally?
“2. Were the IRA terrorists?
“3. Mr [John] McDonnell [Shadow Chancellor] said last week that ‘no cause is worth an innocent life’. Do he and Mr Corbyn include within their definition of innocent life members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and members of the Armed Forces, for example the 18 soldiers murdered at Warrenpoint in 1979?
“4. Do Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell regard members of the Armed Forces and the IRA as ‘equivalent’ participants during the Troubles?
“5. If they are unable unequivocally to condemn IRA terrorism, do they actually believe that the IRA campaign, or as they would put it ‘armed struggle’, was both justified and legitimate?”
Mr Brokenshire added: “These questions can easily be answered with a straight yes or no. Failure to do so will lead people to draw their own conclusions.”