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Sister of murder victim to stand in London By-election
irish social forum |
Wednesday September 03, 2003 17:13 by Justice for Peter McBride Campaign
Sister of belfast teenager murdered by british army to atand in London by-election
Sister of murder victim to stand in London By-election
The Justice for Peter McBride Campaign announced today that Kelly McBride, sister of the murdered Belfast teenager, would be standing as a candidate in this month’s by-election in the Brent East constituency in London.
The decision to stand in the election has been taken in response to the recent decision by Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram MP to retain the two soldiers convicted of the murder of Peter McBride. By standing in Brent East, Kelly McBride plans to bring her demands for the dismissal of the two soldiers right to the heart of political debate in Britain.
In a message to the voters of Brent East Ms McBride said:
“You may be wondering why a young mother from a working class area of north Belfast is standing as a candidate in Brent East. I don’t live in Brent East and I know little of the day-to-day problems that you face. I don’t expect to win this election but by standing I am hoping to win justice.
“If a Major can be expelled for cheating in a game show, why should convicted murderers be kept in the army, and even promoted? My brother Peter was unarmed, posed no threat but was shot in the back. The courts convicted the two soldiers who shot him of murder. But as recently as August 2003 Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram MP said that the two soldiers could remain in the army.
“Other government ministers, senior army officers and right-wing newspapers have supported the two soldiers. The decision to keep the two convicted murderers in the British army was made in London. So we decided to come to London!
“I am asking for your vote so that we can all send a simple message. The taking of a human life is more serious than cheating on a quiz show. It is wrong to retain two soldiers convicted of murder. Use your vote to give that message to this government. Not in your name.”
Kelly McBride will lodge her nomination papers at Brent Town Hall, 40 Lane, Wembley, tomorrow, Wednesday 3rd, at 1.30pm accompanied by supporters including John Kelly, spokesperson for the Bloody Sunday families, and comedian and political commentator Jeremy Hardy. Kelly Mc Bride will be available to meet voters tomorrow night in Willesden Library between 7.00pm and 9.00pm, and again on 13 September between 7.30 and 10.00pm.
Spokesperson Shane O’Curry explained the decision to stand in Brent East:
“This constituency, which includes Kilburn, has the largest Irish vote in Britain. By coming to London, where the decisions that have so affected Kelly’s family have been made, we intend to give the electorate here the chance to voice their feelings on this issue. The McBride family already have the support of most political parties in Ireland, north and south, the Irish government, Amnesty International and other human rights groups. By standing here they hope to get the support of the people of Brent East, people who can see that employing and re-arming two convicted murderers is simply wrong. ”
Notes for Editors:
1. In September 1992, Scots Guards Mark Wright and James Fisher shot unarmed Belfast teenager Peter McBride in the back. He had been stopped and searched by their patrol, and they knew he posed no danger.
2. In February 1995 the two Scots Guards were sentenced to life for murder. Queen’s regulations stipulate that soldiers given a custodial sentence for any reason should be dismissed from the army unless there are “exceptional reasons”.
3. In September 1998 the two were released (outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement), re-armed and allowed to resume their careers in the British army. Since they were convicted almost 2000 soldiers have been discharged from the army after being convicted of much more minor offences.
4. Despite two Belfast High Court rulings against the army’s decision to retain the two, they are still in the British Army. One has recently been promoted to Lance Corporal.
5. Current NIO Minister John Spellar sat on the second army board that decided to retain the two convicted murderers in the army. The SDLP mayors of Belfast and Derry are currently boycotting his office in protest at his role in this decision.
For full background information on this case see www.serve.com/pfc.