British Government challenged on OTR Legislation
Sinn Féin MP for Newry Armagh Conor Murphy today accused the SDLP of knowingly telling lies over the issue of OTRs. Mr Murphy's remarks come after Alex Attwood published his analysis of the legislation.
Mr Murphy said:
" Since the publication by the British government of their legislation on the issue of OTRs the SDLP have consistently claimed that this legislation is the result of collusion between Sinn Féin and the British government in order to achieve an amnesty for those members of British State forces involved in the murder of citizens.
" This is an absolute lie and the SDLP know this. The issue of OTRs was raised by Sinn Féin and negotiated at Weston Park in 2001, a process involving the SDLP. There are no British OTRs. The issue of British State violence and those involved in it had no part of these discussions. The British government have unilaterally taken a decision to attach the provisions for Crown forces onto this Bill, a fact acknowledged by all parties including the two governments. We are absolutely opposed to this approach.
" The British government should have legislated for the agreement reached at Weston Park, an agreement which covered the small number of republicans displaced as a result of the political conflict. Sinn Féin is therefore opposed to the legislation in its current form. The British government should withdraw the offending clause. That is what Sinn Féin is seeking to achieve." ENDS