Derry, Northern Ireland.
“Cameron went completely off script at that point and he said ‘Look, the last administration couldn’t deliver an inquiry in your husband’s case and neither can we.’” Asked why by Jane Winter of British Irish Rights Watch, Mr.David Cameron, according to Ms. Winter, replied: “Because there are people all around this place who won’t let it happen.” She recalled him twirling his hand in the air at “people all around this place.” “This place” was 10, Downing Street. The occasion was a meeting in October 2011 between the prime minister and members of the family of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, murdered by the Loyalist paramilitary outfit the UDA in 1989, with, as a series of media probes has established and the British government no longer denies — the active involvement of a secret British army unit and of the “security service”, MI5.
Winter had accompanied the family to London. They had travelled at the invitation of the Northern Ireland Office, believing/hoping that Cameron was to tell them face-to-face that he had given the go-ahead for the public inquiry into the killing promised by Tony Blair a decade previously. SDLP MP Mark Durkan says that Blair have him “an unambiguous commitment” to a public inquiry during talks at Weston Park in July 2001. The question which immediately arises is: who around Downing Street would have had the clout to forbid a prime minister from following a particular course? Senior civil servants? Hardly. Sir Humphrey doesn’t deliver instructions but rather offers advice. But MI5 fits the bill. It is difficult to think of any other group which does. If this be the truth of it, Cameron was telling Ms. Finucane that an organisation which both were aware had played a key role in the murder of her husband was refusing to contemplate a public inquiry into the crime and that he had no choice but to comply. (John Ware’s 2002 BBC investigation had exposed MI5’s role in facilitating certainly scores and possibly as many as 200 sectarian murders of Catholics.)