British peer says he hopes Martin McGuinness is 'shot in the back'

British peer says he hopes Martin McGuinness is 'shot in the back'

MARTIN McGuinness has rebuked Lord Tebbit for saying he hopes the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister is shot in the back for attending last night’s state banquet at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr McGuinness said the reaction of the former Conservative chairman was "not fitting" for someone who holds high political office.

"Norman Tebbit too and his family have been very badly hurt by the conflict," he said.

"I absolutely understand that. Obviously the sentiments that he has expressed, I think, are not fitting for someone in the elected position he has been in for a very long time."

British peer Lord Tebbit was injured along with his wife during the 1984 IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, which targeted the Conservative Party conference.

His latest remarks have been described by a senior Sinn Féin official Danny Morrison as advocating the assassination of Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister.

However, Mr McGuinness said that he was “not going to make an issue" of the comments.

He said: "Other people have certainly raised it with me, and some people have advocated that I should make an issue of it - I don't intend to do so."

Mr Tebbit said the Queen had no choice about Mr McGuinness attending the state banquet.

He said: "There's always the possibility that a member of the Real IRA will be so outraged by Mr McGuinness bowing to the Queen that they might shoot him in the back for it. We can but hope."

Mr McGuinness said he had no qualms about standing and joining in a toast to the Queen as an orchestra played God Save the Queen.

He said: "I went to Windsor Castle last night as an unapologetic Irish republican, and I'm still an unapologetic Irish republican this morning.

"So I think it is possible to do these things, particularly in the context of a very clear indicator that others - such as Queen Elizabeth in her visit to our country, both to Belfast and to the south - were prepared to show impressive leadership in the context of conflict resolution and acts of reconciliation.

"I believe I have the overwhelming support of the people of Ireland for what I did last night."