The Docklands Victims’ Association (DVA) were very pleased to acknowledged Kate Hoey MP, Jim Fitzpatrick MP and Lady Sylvia Hermon MP on Thursday as a result of the overwhelming support they have extended to all victims of terrorism.
The victims, as a consequence of these MPs’ retirement from the House of Commons, wish to express our gratitude for their tireless work and kindness during these past many years.
Ms Hoey, Mr Fitzpatrick and Lady Hermon have extended unprecedented support to all victims of terror within the UK.
In addition to supporting victims they also showed immense courage in challenging the discrimination concerning UK victims of Gaddafi/IRA terror.
During 2008 Colonel Muammar Gaddafi paid substantial compensation to US, France and German victims due to his support for terrorism. However, due to the appalling lack of support from our own UK government and Gaddafi’s lack of compassion towards his victims in the UK, no compensation was issued to those victims.
This was a dreadful lack of equality as bomb victims from the Harrods and other IRA attacks based in the UK who held US passports received substantial compensation and managed to obtain superior medical care whilst those in the UK received nothing.
Many UK victims died prematurely due to their horrific injuries sustained and a number have taken their own lives as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
As a result of these MPs’ courage and compassion for others they challenged this injustice and were instrumental in highlighting this discrimination and also secured many debates concerning this inequality.
Their determination to rectify this injustice secured a Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hearing in 2015 which finally exposed the discrimination that devalued the life of every UK citizen.
In addition, in 2018 a parliamentary bill was also initiated in the House of Lords in an attempt to secure a percentage of Gaddafi’s £12 billion of assets being held by the UK Treasury, for victims who were left severely disabled by the semtex and weaponry Gaddafi eagerly supplied to the IRA which caused unimaginable suffering.
Following their efforts in this campaign, in March 2019 the UK government, after many years of valiant campaigning by Kate Hoey, Jim Fitzpatrick and Lady Sylvia Hermon, finally appointed Mr William Shawcross as Special Representative of the UK victims of Gaddafi-Sponsored IRA terrorism.
It was announced last month (October) that he will be carrying out a scoping and feasibility study into the victims’ compensation claims.
Kate Hoey MP, Jim Fitzpatrick MP and Lady Sylvia Hermon MP are true parliamentarians that fight for those less fortunate in society through democratic procedures.
Their exemplary conduct in this campaign for equality has been instrumental in the tremendous progress we have made to rectify this appalling injustice.