McBride sister to stand in London by-election
The sister of murdered Belfast teenager Peter McBride will
stand as a candidate in a British by-election in the Brent
East constituency of London.
Kelly McBride said she has no expectation of winning, but
believes she can highlight the family's campaign to have the
two British soldiers convicted of killing her 18-year-old
brother ejected from the British Army.
"The decision to stand in this by-election is designed to
bring the family's demands to have James Fisher and Mark
Wright dismissed from the Army brought to the heart of
political debate in Britain," said McBride. "The decision to
keep the two convicted murderers in the British Army was made
in London, so we decided to go to London to highlight Peter's
plight for justice."
Supporters of the McBrides hope to open an office in the
London constituency for the duration of the election campaign.
Also, under election legislation Kelly McBride will be
entitled to the same time and media coverage as Labour
candidate Robert Evans and Conservative Uma Fernandes.
McBride put the question: if a major can be expelled from the
British Army for cheating on a game show, why then should
convicted killers be kept in the army and even promoted?
"I will be asking the people of Brent East to vote for me so
that the British government is given the message that the
taking of a human life is more serious than cheating in a game
show. I will be asking voters to show that my brother was not
murdered in their name."
The family have said they will challenge British Prime
Minister Tony Blair on the decision to allow Peter McBride's
killers to remain in the Army. Blair is expected to visit the
constituency in the run up to the 18 September polling day.
Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams MP has called on the Irish
community in the Brent East constituency, and those others who
are interested in human rights matters, to rally round and
give their support and help to Kelly McBride.
"Sinn Fein supports this initiative," said the party
president. "It provides the McBride family with an opportunity
to raise their demand that the two Scots Guards convicted of
murdering Peter McBride should be removed from the British
NIO minister John Spellar, who took part in the decision to
allow Fisher and Wright to remain in the army, has already
visited the constituency in the past two weeks to support the
Meanwhile, at a meeting of Belfast City Council on Tuesday
night, 2 September, a motion condemning the announcement by
Belfast Mayor Martin Morgan of the SDLP that he would boycott
meetings with British minister John Spellar was passed.
The motion, brought by DUP councillor Sammy Wilson and backed
by unionists and Alliance party members, was passed by 24
votes to 16, with Sinn Fein voting against the motion and in
support of Morgan.
Despite the setback, Morgan said he would continue his boycott
as it is a matter of conscience, but the decision not to meet
Spellar would be kept under constant review.
Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey said, "the kernel of it all is John
Spellar sat on the board which allowed two convicted killers
to remain as soldiers.
"John Spellar made the decision to allow Mark Wright and James
Fisher to remain in the British Army and the fact that both
men were actually promoted is an injustice to the McBride
family and to the memory of Peter McBride".
Peter McBride was shot dead by the two Scots Guardsmen near
his New Lodge home on the 4 September 1992.