Karen Bradley ‘profoundly sorry’ for Troubles deaths remarks

Karen Bradley has issued an apology after claiming that no one killed by the security forces during the Troubles was the victim of a crime.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 12:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 1:11 pm
NI Secretary Karen Bradley

The NI secretary faced a fierce backlash after her address in the House of Commons yesterday.

She said that while all of the deaths caused by terrorists were illegal, “the fewer than 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes”.

Mrs Bradley went on to clarify: “They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way.”

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She later returned to the Commons chamber to clarify her remarks she conceded “might have been open to misinterpretation”.

“I was not referring to any specific cases but expressing a general view. Of course, where there is evidence of wrongdoing it should always be investigated whoever is responsible,” she told MPs.

Mrs Bradley’s remarks led to calls by Sinn Fein and the SDLP to resign.

In a statement issued by the Northern Ireland Office this morning, the NI Secretary said she was “profoundly sorry for the offence and hurt that my words have caused”.

She added: “The language was wrong and even though this was not my intention, it was deeply insensitive to many of those who lost loved ones.

“I know from those families that I have met personally just how raw their pain is and I completely understand why they want to see justice properly delivered. I share that aim and that is why I launched the public consultation on addressing the legacy of the troubles.

“My position and the position of this Government is clear. We believe fundamentally in the rule of law. Where there is any evidence of wrongdoing this should be pursued without fear or favour whoever the perpetrators might be. That is a principle that underpins our approach to dealing with legacy issues and it is one from which we will not depart.”