Lawyer: The government has been weak and hypocritical about the defence of Libya-IRA victims

The IRA bomb at Canary Wharf in 1996, which caused devastation, using Libyan semtex
The IRA bomb at Canary Wharf in 1996, which caused devastation, using Libyan semtex

Victims and survivors of Libyan sponsored IRA terrorism are disgusted and dismayed at Her Majesty’s Government’s refusal to ensure that Libya accounts for its role in the maiming and murder of an estimated 3,500 British citizens.

Earlier this year, a parliamentary inquiry concluded that HMG had let down victims of terrorism by failing to ensure Libya paid just reparations for what is arguably the worst single act of terrorism ever committed against the UK.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

It contrasted HMG’s inaction with the US, France and Germany – all of which have secured reparations on behalf of their citizens who suffered at the hands of Libyan terrorism.

HMG’s newly published response to the inquiry ignores its criticism and conclusions while steadfastly refusing to take any meaningful action.

Instead, it has abdicated all responsibility. All it has offered the victims is to facilitate meetings between the victims and the Libyan authorities.

However it has continually made this offer since 2008, indeed it set up a dedicated three man unit in the Foreign Office for that purpose, but throughout this decade they have not produced one single meeting for the victims or their lawyers with anyone in the Libyan government.

The government can only be either incompetent, indifferent or duplicitous.

The fact is, the Libyan authorities have ignored all approaches from the victims for years. HMG’s offer is meaningless; moreover, HMG knows this.

The British government’s response to the parliamentary inquiry is to continue to do nothing, make poor uneducated excuses and demonstrate complete hypocrisy.

It is shameful. If this is a demonstration of the government’s approach and capability in performing foreign policy for its people, the people of this country should fear its ability to deliver a positive Brexit.

For over a decade their approach has been weak, ineffective and hypocritical.

It is galling that the victims of terrorism and the people of this country have to endure such. The UK government is broken.

This instance demonstrates how far our government has travelled to a position where it feels able to ignore the demands of democracy though a parliamentary inquiry, as well as the voices of victims and the media.

Jason McCue, Senior Partner, McCue & Partners, London