Political convenience must not affect PIRA report – Allister

Lord Carlile of Berriew
Lord Carlile of Berriew

A high level report on the status of the Provisional IRA must not be informed by “political convenience,” Jim Allister has said.

The TUV leader expressed concern that a Liberal Democrat peer appointed to a panel examining terrorist activity has already expressed a view on the matter.

Lord Carlile of Berriew is one of three people selected by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to file a report for the government.

However, in a report he published six months ago, in his role as the independent reviewer of national security arrangement, Lord Carlile made no mention of the existence of PIRA.

In the 1,500-word public summary of his report laid before Parliament in March, the only reference to the Provisional IRA was in a passing, and historic context.

Mr Allister said: “Lord Carlile of Berriew is the most qualified of those appointed to the panel but that he could have written such a report just six months ago which only referenced the IRA in an historical context will do nothing to inspire confidence in something about which unionists were already rightly sceptical.”

Mr Allister said Lord Carlile appeared to be “in ignorance” of the fact the Chief Constable had linked PIRA members to the murder of Kevin McGuigan last month – and that the Secretary of State said she wasn’t surprised PIRA still existed.

He added: “I trust political convenience will not inform his next report but I remain to be convinced.”