Cameron rejects public inquiry
BRITISH REACTION:British prime minister David Cameron has said the report into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has been “agony”, but he utterly rejected demands for a full public inquiry.
The De Silva report has “given us the fullest possible account of the murder of Patrick Finucane and the truth about state collusion”, he said, adding that the amount of information published is “without precedent”.
Indicating that prosecutions are possible, Mr Cameron said: “Other organisations that are properly independent of government, such as the police and prosecuting authorities, will want to read the report closely and consider their responses.”
He immediately faced demands from Labour leader, Ed Miliband for a public inquiry, saying that had been agreed with the Irish government over a decade ago.
However, Mr Cameron said the Labour government had nine years from 2001 to launch a public inquiry and did not do so: “I think that was partly because they understood, as we did, the problems, dangers and expense of open-ended inquiries.”
Saying that it was “an appalling episode”, Mr Miliband added: “We must, as a United Kingdom, accept that our state sometimes did not meet the high standards that we set ourselves during the Northern Ireland conflict.”
MPs on all sides, he claimed, acknowledge the need to “establish the full and tested truth about Pat Finucane’s murder”, but Labour, he said, continues to believe that a public inquiry is necessary “for his family and for Northern Ireland”.