David Cameron tells Justice4the21 he is too busy to meet due to 'diary pressures'
Andy RichardsBirmingham Mail
12 January 2015**More links and photos onsitePrime Minister David Cameron has rejected a plea to meet with Birmingham pub bombings campaigners, telling them he is too busy.
His snub comes just over a month after he told the House of Commons that those responsible for the massacre of 21 people in the city in 1974 had to be found.
Encouraged by his words, Justice4the21 campaigners wrote to the Prime Minister to thank him and to ask to meet him.
Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was one of those murdered, said in the letter “Please agree to meet us Prime Minister. You can have no idea what that would mean for us.”
Now the Prime Minister has replied offering his sympathies, but nothing else.
“Unfortunately due to the pressure of my diary I am unable to offer you a meeting on this occasion, but I do thank you for writing to me on this important issue,” he has told them.Read the full reply from Mr Cameron here
On Monday, Julie said: “We feel absolutely insulted, but not surprised.
“All we wanted was to meet for a few moments and for our Prime Minister to look us in the eyes and tell us he really was with us on this.
“But I suspect he can’t do that because it isn’t true.
“It’s interesting to see that, among those he has copied into this letter is the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Chris Sims whose force last year rejected any new inquiry into the bombings.
“It just bears out what we know - that neither the Government, nor the police have any real intention to pursue those who attacked the Tavern in The Town and The Mulberry Bush.
“Mr Cameron has had numerous meetings with the McCanns over Madeleine - and we don’t begrudge them that in any way.
“But there are 21 families in Birmingham who lost loved ones, and despite what he told the House of Commons, he can’t spare us 30 minutes? He should be ashamed.”
In the letter Mr Cameron describes the bomb attacks as “appalling and devastating” and says he hopes that, although West Midlands Police will not launch a new inquiry into the bombings, the force’s efforts will offer them some solace and demonstrate that “all that can be done is being done.”
He goes on to say he hopes he has reassured them that “considerable effort has been, and continues to be, made to bring those responsible for this awful crime to justice.”
“How absolutely ridiculous, “ said Julie. “It’s almost laughable.
“It just shows how out of touch he is.
“The police review didn’t find any new evidence because they have admitted that they are not looking for any. They are waiting for someone, anyone, to hand deliver it to them.
“Amongst other things the Prime Minister also talks about financial support.
“Clearly he knows nothing about us at all really because, if he did, he would realise how particularly insulting that is.
“We are not interested in money and never have been. We just want the truth and justice for the victims of this terrible crime.”
Within days of Mr Cameron’s House of Commons statement, the IRA’s former intelligence chief Kieran Conway confirmed for the first time that the terror attacks were in revenge for the death a week earlier of IRA bomber James McDaid.
McDaid, a lieutenant in the Birmingham Brigade of the IRA, blew himself up while trying to attack Coventry Telephone Exchange.
But Conway and other “furious” IRA officers felt the Birmingham attacks were immoral and said they had left him ashamed.
Conway makes the admission in a book of memoirs.
His name and details were passed on to West Midlands Police by the Birmingham Mail on Thursday, December 9.
The force said it will review the book before deciding what action to take.
The Mail has heard nothing from West Midlands Police on this issue since.*After Mr Cameron’s House of Commons statement the Birmingham Mail started to run the Cameron Clock, to see how long it took him to take action.
The clock is still ticking...