Rishi Sunak rejects SDLP MP's call for apology over activities of agent Stakeknife

Rishi Sunak has praised the work of the security forces during the Troubles as he brushed aside an SDLP call for an apology for the victims of Stakeknife.
Rishi Sunak in the House of CommonsRishi Sunak in the House of Commons
Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons

In the Commons, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood asked the Prime Minister if he was prepared to apologise to those who suffered at the hands of the army agent inside the Provisional IRA.

When the report into the agent’s activities – Operation Kenova – was published last month, its main author Jon Boutcher suggested both the government and leaders of the republican movement should offer apologies to the families of suspected informants who were tortured and murdered.

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The Foyle MP said: “The recently published Kenova report makes it clear that the IRA was riddled with British agents from top to bottom.

"The British Government—successive British Governments—knew all about it and did nothing. The report also calls for an apology from the Government to those victims. Will the Prime Minister take this opportunity to make that apology?”

Mr Sunak replied: “As the honorable gentleman will know, the report is an interim one. As the secretary of state has laid out, we cannot comment on the findings until we get the final report, but we would never condone wrongdoing where there is evidence of that.

"I will also say, because it is not said enough, that the overwhelming majority of the police, armed forces and intelligence services served with great distinction. They defended democracy in the face of some horrendous violence, and without their service and their sacrifice, there would have been no peace process.”