31 January 2006


Daily Ireland

Motion calling for British army criminals to be kicked out of the military has received cross-party support from 23 MPs

By Connla Young

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe mother of murdered Belfast teenager Peter McBride has welcomed a new bid to have convicted criminals kicked out of the British army.
Jean McBride comments came after it emerged that that United States Consul General in Belfast Dean Pittman has agreed to meet her for a second time to discuss her continuing campaign for justice for her son who was gunned down by the British army in September 1992.
The teenager’s killers, Scots Guardsmen James Fisher and Mark Wright, were both readmitted to the British army on their early release from prison in 1998.
An early day motion drawn up by SDLP leader Mark Durkan has now received cross-party support from 23 members of the British parliament.
The motion calls for the British “government to affirm that human rights abusers, killers, rapists and bullies are permanently excluded from military service.”
The motion has received the support of British-based MPs who work closely with the families of young soldiers who have died in mysterious circumstances in British army bases across Britain.
Speaking to Daily Ireland last night, Mrs McBride vowed to continue her fight to have the men who murdered her son removed from the British army.
“We welcome this latest intervention and the support of other families who are also campaiging against the sheer arrogance of the Minister of Defence. We see from the cross-party support that we have almost all the parties represented in parliament signing up to this petition.
“I have written again to Tony Blair and asked him for a meeting and this will boost our campaign. It remains to bee seen if Tony Blair has the courage to face me across the table and justify the retention of Wright and Fisher.”
Mrs McBride will raise her family’s concerns over the relationship between of former British army officer Tim Spicer and the US government when she meets US Consul General Dean Pittman in the coming weeks.
Spicer was the offcer in charge of Wright and Fisher when they murdered Peter McBride.
Mr Durkan yesterday spoke of the need for the British army to protect the public.
“Our motion demands that all those convicted of murder, rape, torture and other serious crimes, are expelled from the army.
“Armies are meant to protect the public, that’s why they shouldn’t have serving in their ranks those who have murdered, raped and tortured. It is as simple as that.
“As the next step in our campaign we will be proposing amendments to the Armed Forces Bill currently going through Westminster to make the principles behind our campaign requirements of law.
“If the British government are at all serious about human rights we hope that they will get serious about this campaign and back our amendments and early day motion.”
British MPs supporting the motion include Peter Bottomley, Glenda Jackson and Jeremy Corbyn.

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