McCartney blasts Theresa May as 'disgusting' for repeating false claims over legacy investigations

Raymond McCartney.
Raymond McCartney.

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has blasted the British Prime Minister Theresa May for 'misleading' the Westminster parliament by suggesting the security forces were the sole focus of legacy investigations in the North.

Mr. McCartney said her comments were "disgusting and deeply insensitive".

Asked about the 'scapegoating' of British servicemen and women and veterans in the House of Commons, Ms. May said: "We want to ensure that we do not see our servicemen and women - and, indeed, in relation to legacy issues in Northern Ireland, police officers - as the sole subject of investigations, which is what is happening at the moment."

The Prime Minister repeated the false claim in spite of PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton's confirmation last month that only 30 per cent of the force's caseload within its legacy investigations branch was focused on former military personnel.

Last month several organisations, including the Derry-based human rights group, the Pat Finucane Centre, suggested Ms. May should follow the example of her former Home Secretary Amber Rudd who was forced to resign after misleading Westminster's Home Affairs Select Committee on targets for the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Mr. McCartney said the Prime Minister was repeating false claims about legacy investigations into cases involving the slaughter of dozens of people.

Over 300 people were killed by state forces in the North during the course of the conflict.

He said: “It is absolutely disgusting and deeply insensitive that Theresa May would repeat patently inaccurate claims that the only people being investigated over conflict-related deaths are British armed forces and police officers.

“The repetition of these remarks further compounds the hurt and offence felt by hundreds of families who have been bereaved by the British state forces.

“They are also demonstrably untrue as has been evidenced by official statistics and statements on legacy investigations.

“Theresa May should withdraw these hurtful comments immediately and set the record straight.

“She also needs to clarify if her government believe that British state forces should be above the law and whether the PSNI should no longer have an obligation to follow the evidence in respect of conflict deaths?”