MPs join Westminster protest calling for ‘cruel’ Troubles Legacy Bill to be scrapped

MPs join Westminster protest calling for ‘cruel’ Troubles Legacy Bill to be scrapped

TWO Sinn Féin MPs joined a protest outside parliament in Westminster urging the government to scrap its controversial Troubles Legacy Bill.

Francie Molloy and Órfhlaith Begley attended the gathering in London yesterday.

Speaking to those present, which included members of the Terence MacSwiney Committee (London), Molloy called on the British government to “listen to victims and survivors” and scrap the Bill, which is currently making its way through parliament.

Sinn Féin MPs Francie Molloy and Órfhlaith Begley attended the event in London

“Today instead of listening to the victims and survivors the British government are rushing through their cruel and fundamentally flawed Legacy Bill,” he said.

“The Bill shows a blatant disregard for victims and their families and their right to access truth and justice,” he added.

Earlier this month Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris published amendments to the proposed legislation, which he claimed “directly address a number of key concerns raised by interested parties”.

However critics of the Bill have claimed that the changes do not go far enough.

“The proposed amendments being put forward are a cynical attempt to gloss over the fundamental flaws of the Legacy Bill,” Mr Molloy said.

“It is designed to deny victims and families their basic legal rights and are not in full compliance with the British government’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights."

He added: “This Bill is being rushed through the British Parliament to become law in six to seven weeks’ time before [summer] recess on July 26th.

“It is a travesty, a perversion of the legal process and is about ending citizens’ rights to access due legal process.”

The protest took place outside parliament in Westminster

Concluding his speech in London, Mr Molloy stated that “the present Legacy Bill being pushed through Westminster should be scrapped” before calling on the Irish government to “stand up to this unilateral action by the British government”.

In a statement made yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed he would consider legal action if the Bill becomes law.

Mr Varadkar was responding to a question from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil.