Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey has said the new Parliament provides a fresh opportunity to deliver compensation for UK victims of terrorism.
Lord Empey was speaking after his Asset Freezing (Compensation) Bill was selected in the Parliamentary ballot, and will have its first reading this Monday (26 June). The Bill seeks to use frozen assets as financial compensation for UK victims of terrorism.
Lord Empey said:
“It is shameful that the UK Government, unlike its French, German and U.S counterparts, has not secured compensation from the Libyan Government for its role in terrorism, and indeed has not even made it a priority.
“In the last Parliament I brought forward legislation which sought to use some of the £9.5 billion of frozen Libyan assets in the UK, to compensate victims of IRA terrorism, which the Gadaffi regime aided and abetted through finance, training and supply of weapons and explosives.
“While the Bill enjoyed significant support throughout Parliament, and passed through the House of Lords, unfortunately the calling of a snap election meant there was not enough Parliamentary time to progress the Bill further.
“However, the new Parliament now provides a fresh opportunity to deliver for the UK victims of terrorism who have waited too long for financial redress of their grievances. The Bill would not only allow for frozen assets to compensate victims of Libyan sponsored terrorism, but should the UN seek to freeze assets linked to Islamist terrorism then these would also be available for compensation.
“On Monday, I will be moving the legislation again and I hope on this occasion the Government will not seek to frustrate its progress, and instead give the Bill its full support.”