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Point of Order

Volume 656: debated on Thursday 14 March 2019

The hon. Gentleman courteously gave me notice of his desire to raise this point of order, and I am happy to take it now.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland is, as we speak, announcing its intention to proceed to prosecute a number of people in relation to events that occurred on the day known as Bloody Sunday in Londonderry.

It is not my intention to intervene in any way on the legal process, but I was born and raised in the city, which I now represent in Parliament, and as a teenager I was there in the city centre on the day. I watched the events that led up to that day, including the murder of two police officers in the vicinity of the parade just three days before that parade commenced. No prosecutions have ensued as a result of any investigation, either through the Saville inquiry or any other police investigation since.

I seek your guidance, Mr Speaker, on what a parliamentarian like myself can do to draw attention, for example, to Peter Gilgun and David Montgomery, the police officers who were murdered, and to the massive imbalance in legacy investigations into our troubled past in Northern Ireland. Many innocent civilians, police and soldiers have not had their investigations carried out and no prosecutions have occurred, yet we have the announcement we are having today.

In truth, I think the hon. Gentleman knows that he has found his own salvation. He asks, in essence, what recourse is available to him, and he has found it. He has registered his view, and it is on the record. I know he will appreciate that it is not a matter for adjudication by the Chair. Specifically, however, in the light of what he has said, I hope that it is helpful to the House for me to point out that, in the event that any charges are brought, the House will want to respect the autonomy of the judicial process and to observe our own sub judice resolution. I will leave it there for now, and I think he understands that.