Adams and McGuinness meet British Prime Minister in London
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA this afternoon met the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London.
The focus of the meeting was to press Mr. Brown to bring forward new proposals on a Bill of Rights which takes account of the advice from both the Bill of Rights Forum and the Human Rights Commission, and includes social and economic protections for citizens.
Mr. Adams said: “We need a robust, enforceable Bill of Rights that will provide rights-based protection for all our people.”
Martin McGuinness raised the delay in the publication of the Saville report describing it as “unacceptable”.
Mr. McGuinness said:
“The imminent announcement of a British general election should not be used by the British government as an excuse to delay the publication of the Saville report. The families have already faced years of frustration in seeking the truth. After 12 years of the Saville Inquiry there should be no further delays. The report should be published.
During the course of the meeting we expressed our dissatisfaction that the families of those killed were not given preferential treatment to the representatives of Shaun Woodward who have sight of the Saville report before the relatives."
Among other matters raised was the role of British intelligence agencies within so-called dissident republican groups, and in particular the circumstances surrounding the murder of Kieran Doherty; the pension rights of Visteon workers and the demand of the Ballymurphy Massacre families for an International Investigation into the murder of their loved ones in 1971.
On Visteon Mr. Adams said: “I pressed Mr. Brown to ensure that the Pensions Regulator carries out an exhaustive probe into Visteon and in particular the transfer of assets by Ford and Visteon out of the pension funds of Visteon workers.
It’s now approaching the first anniversary of the closure of Visteon and the exposure of this scandal. I think those who lost their jobs, those with pension rights and the public at large deserve to know the cold truth and to be assured that those responsible for this scandal will be held to account.”
The west Belfast MP also pressed the British PM about meeting the families of the 11 people shot dead by the British Army in August 1971 in the Ballymurphy area. Mr. Adams said: “The families want an independent international investigation into the deaths of their loved ones and an apology from the British government. The families want the truth.
We have met as a group with the British Secretary of State Shaun Woodward, however his position that the families should leave any investigation to the HET is unacceptable to them and they want to meet the British Prime Minister.
It’s important that the British establishment face up to what was done in its name in Ballymurphy 40 years ago.” CRÍOCH