Shabana Mahmood MP Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shabana has signed a joint letter to the Home Secretary regarding proposals to grant an amnesty to paramilitaries.
The proposed amnesty would prevent the families of the Birmingham Pub Bombings victims from ever receiving justice for their loved ones.
In the letter, sent alongside Birmingham MPs, they ask for an urgent meeting to take place between the Department and the families of those killed and injured by the terrorist attack.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to the Home Secretary
Dear Secretary of State
On 21st November 1974, the IRA detonated bombs in two public houses in Birmingham, the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town.
Twenty-one people lost their lives, and 186 were injured, many severely. It was the single biggest loss of life in a terrorist in Britain until the 7/7 bombings. For the families of those who lost loved ones, those injured, and for the people of Birmingham more widely the trauma remains raw.
Forty-seven years on, those responsible have still not been brought to justice. For almost five decades, the Birmingham families have fought a long and determined campaign for justice, backed by the people of Birmingham and across the United Kingdom.
On Wednesday proposals were announced that would slam the door shut on the families’ long, brave campaign for justice.
Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was murdered in the bombings, powerfully asked: “if one of your loved ones was blown up beyond recognition, where you were only able to identify your son or daughter by their fingernails because their face had been burned so severely from the blast and little of their remains were left intact, would you be so quick to agree to such obscene legislation being implemented?”
It is shameful that families were not even granted the basic courtesy of a meeting to discuss proposals to grant an amnesty to those who murdered their loved ones. Reports suggest that paramilitaries – the victim-makers – were briefed on proposals but victims themselves have been cruelly snubbed.
It is time you urgently held a meeting with the families of those killed and injured by the appalling atrocity in Birmingham, looked them in the eye and explain why you want to close the book on their cases.
As local Members of Parliament, we stand four-square behind the families in their long campaign, and urge you not to undermine the rule of law and with it any prospect of justice.