Nick and Ming speak out on Megrahi

Nick Clegg, who has publicly opposed the Scottish executive’s decision to release convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi, today responded to the news that Gordon Brown – who has remained silent about the case until today – let it be known to the Libyan authorities via his foreign office ministers that the Prime Minister did not want Mr Al Megrahi to die in prison:

The Foreign Secretary has now admitted that the British Government made its position on Megrahi’s release clear to the Libyans.

“It is now clear that Gordon Brown felt able to share his feelings with a power-crazed dictator but not with the British people. When the issue at stake is one of the biggest foreign policy storms to hit the UK in recent times, this is entirely unacceptable.

“The Prime Minister must now make public all information regarding the discussions between the UK Government and Libya. What has been revealed concerning discussions with the Scottish Government is clearly just the tip of the iceberg.”

You can see former Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell interviewed on the BBC here.

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  • Andrew Duffield 3rd Sep '09 - 9:12am

    When is Clegg going to start calling for a full public enquiry into the bombing itself?

    Labour has consistently denied this to the UK Families of Flight 103 and, since there will now be no appeal by Al Megrahi, it is the only possibility of ever getting to the truth of what really happened over Lockerbie.

    In the current climate of political finger-pointing and scalp-seeking, the continuing victims of this tragedy appear to have been entirely forgotten.

  • I’m not sure Nick has got this right. I think the compassionate release was the principled thing to do. Especially with the doubts over the conviction.
    It does look to me like there was some back dealing between London and Libya – The SNP gov was set up to take the flak for doing the right thing.

  • Simon Wilson 3rd Sep '09 - 10:46am

    I too think that Nick is wrong on this. Release on compassionate grounds was the principled decision and principles should come before opportunism

  • David Matthewman 3rd Sep '09 - 4:47pm

    Ah, but Nick hasn’t offered an opinion on whether the compassionate release was right, has he? He’s only offered an opinion on whether or not other people should offer an opinion. He’s consistently attacked Gordon Brown for not commenting on the release, while not commenting himself.

    I’m finding it very hard to find anything principled at all in the Lib Dems’ stance on this, from our parliamentarians in either Holyrood and Westminster. It depresses me.

  • I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed by Cleggs response and generally attitude about this. The liberal thing would surely have been to release on compassionate grounds, even if it wasn’t the popular decision. If Clegg had come out and said that the release was correct, but potentially for the wrong reasons then it would have been a great opportunity to knock the Tories (they’re all hang um and flog um types really) as well as knocking Brown – ‘why is he being evasive about the reasons, what are the political shenanigans that have gone in in the background’. In the end the Libs have appeared in the media as saying very litte and looking as though we have no view.

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