Lord Empey: Bill to secure compensation for Libya-IRA victims moves forward

The UK has more victims of terrorism sponsored by Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi, seen above with former Prime Minister Tony Blair in Libya in 2007, than France, Germany, and the US combined, yet those countries secured damages for their victims and Britain did not. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
The UK has more victims of terrorism sponsored by Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi, seen above with former Prime Minister Tony Blair in Libya in 2007, than France, Germany, and the US combined, yet those countries secured damages for their victims and Britain did not. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A Private Members Bill, that I have brought forward to secure compensation for victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA terror, is now moving to its final stage in the House of Lords.

Yesterday the Asset Freezing (Compensation) Bill [HL] passed its Committee stage in the House of Lords without amendment.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

As a result of there being no amendments, there is no necessity for a report stage. Instead, the Bill will now go forward soon for its third and final reading before being passed to the House of Commons.

I am grateful that the government gave me time today to move this legislation forward. Private Member’s Bills are usually dealt with on special sitting Fridays usually held once a month – so this will bring forward the Bill’s move to the House of Commons.

When the Bill passes the House of Lords, it will be sponsored in the Commons by Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell (Romford), who is the chairman of the all-party Parliamentary support group formed to help victims of Gaddafi-sponsored terrorism.

I am confident that Andrew will be the ideal person to progress this legislation – I want to see a full debate on the issues raised by the Bill on the floor of the House of Commons.

This will force the government to confront the long term failure by successive governments to deal effectively with compensation for British victims; this is against the background that the US, France and Germany were all successful in getting compensation for their citizens while the UK, which has more victims that all of those countries put together, has done nothing.

I hope that yesterday’s proceedings will at least demonstrate to the despairing and frustrated victims, that their cause has not been forgotten in Parliament and that many members, from all parties, are continuing to champion their cause.

Lord Empey, Ulster Unionist Party, House of Lords