Owen Confirms Bloody Sunday Preview

The families of those killed and injured in Bloody Sunday are to have advanced sight of the official report before the Prime Minister makes his statement on the matter to the House of Commons on Tuesday, 15 June.

As promised by the previous Labour administration, the NIO Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, yesterday confirmed the Saville Inquiry preview for the relatives.

He also said that the soldiers most directly involved would be given a chance to read it too, but explained that neither he nor any other member of the Government will receive the report until 24 hours prior to the PM's statement.

The Speaker of the House of Commons has agreed to offer the legal representatives of the families and the soldiers advanced sight of the report over seven before the Prime Minister makes his statement. This will take place in separate, secure locations. Some members of the families and soldiers concerned will have up to five hours advanced sight as will nominated MPs and Peers.

Formally accredited media will also be allowed one hour to look at the 'Principal Conclusions' of the report, but there will be a strict embargo on any comment until the Prime Minister has finished his statement.

The Secretary of State said: "This will be a huge report not just in size but in its significance for all those directly involved.

"I am doing everything in my power to ensure that it is published in a way that fully recognises that," he said.

"The previous administration discussed with the families and soldiers a process that would allow them the opportunity to have advanced sight of the report.

"Having now held my own discussion with the families and soldiers' representatives I have decided to build on those arrangements.

"I have not seen the report and will not do so until 24 hours before publication.

"To anybody who might want to speculate on the contents I would urge them wait until next Tuesday when they will be able to comment on the actual report," he concluded.

See: Saville Inquiry To Report In June


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