Ulster Unionist Peer, Lord Empey, has expressed hope that the new understanding between the Government and the DUP offers the prospect of a resolution to the issue of securing compensation for UK victims of IRA terrorism carried out using weaponry supplied by the Gaddafi regime.
Lord Empey said:
“I have been working with a number of victims groups for some time to secure compensation for those UK victims of the IRA, who suffered because of armaments supplied by the Gaddafi regime in Libya.
“I introduced a Bill in the last Parliament which passed the Lords and ran out of Parliamentary time when the General Election was called. I reintroduced the Bill last week, and will continue to work to build support for it in both the Lords and the Commons. I believe that the new Parliament provides a fresh opportunity to deliver for UK victims of terrorism who have already waited too long to receive financial redress.
“The French, German and US Governments all managed to secure compensation from Libya for their citizens, but shamefully the UK Government has not and I for one will keep the pressure on.
“In addition to my Bill, there is however one significant recent development that should give victims some hope that the UK Government will use some of the £9.5 billion of frozen Libyan assets in the UK as compensation.
“Given the new arrangement between the DUP and the Government, we now have a unique opportunity to bring influence to bear on the Government and to prompt it to finally take action.
“I am encouraged by reports that the DUP has raised compensation in meetings with the Government and comments from Jeffrey Donaldson MP in which he stated that ‘we have secured a commitment from the Government to convene a further meeting involving the relevant Ministers to discuss how we might take the matter forward, including on the issue of frozen Libyan assets in the UK.’
“My only interest is in securing a result for those who suffered so grievously at the hands of the IRA using weapons and explosives given to them by Libya. Many of these cases are over thirty years old. It is time for this Government to finally deliver justice where so many of its predecessors have failed.”