OTR letters: IRA victims back attempts to quiz Blair

MPs had demanded Tony Blair give evidence to them
MPs had demanded Tony Blair give evidence to them

Two IRA victims have given firm backing to an attempt to have Tony Blair quizzed by MPs over his part in the on-the-run (OTR) comfort letters given to IRA suspects.

It emerged on Wednesday that the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster has summoned the former Prime Minister to appear before it on January 14.

The committee wrote an open letter to Mr Blair demanding that he attend, accusing him of continuing failure to cooperate and of being “extremely disrespectful” to the House of Commons.

Michelle Williamson, whose parents were killed in an IRA bomb on the Shankill Road in Belfast in 1993, was keen to see him appear before the committee.

“The OTR scheme has affected the Shankill bomb families as we all believe one of the IRA men responsible has one of these letters,” she said.

“Tony Blair also sold us out over Libya and blocked our attempts to get compensation for the Semtex it supplied the IRA,” she said.

“He should be brought to account to answer questions put to him. He had a responsibility to look after the victims and he didn’t do it.”

Stephen Gault’s father was killed in the Enniskillen bomb in 1987 and he was also seriously injured.

“If he turns up it will be good,” he said. “At the end of the day it was him that came up with the scheme so it is only right that he answers questions about it.”