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banner Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
America pressed over UK terrorism
Real IRA graffiti in West Belfast
All terrorist threats should be treated the same, say Tories
The US should treat terrorist threats against the UK as seriously as Britain takes those against the United States, the Conservatives have demanded.

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Quentin Davies, speaking on the last day of the party conference in Blackpool, called for all help and fund-raising avenues for terrorist groups in Northern Ireland to be outlawed until they decommissioned.


We must prevail on our friends abroad, including the United States, to treat terrorist threats to this country exactly as we are treating terrorist threats to theirs

Quentin Davies
Mr Davies also repeated Tory calls made since the 11 September terror attacks for Britain's Human Rights Act to be changed to ease extradition and deportation of terrorist suspects.

He was speaking soon after Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble addressed the conference and attacked Tony Blair's handling of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Opening a debate on the rule of law, Mr Davies told party representatives: "We must prevail on our friends abroad, including the United States, to treat terrorist threats to this country exactly as we are treating terrorist threats to theirs.

"Any organisation supporting those who continue to hold illegal arms must be denounced... every opportunity to raise money, every chance to present themselves falsely as good citizens or as a peaceful democratic party must be closed off - and that includes Noraid."

There should be no distinction between terrorist groups, he went on.

"We simply cannot have two sets of rules, one for terrorism at home and one for terrorism abroad."

Adams remarks rejected

There was loud applause from the audience when he said Tories would "totally reject with contempt" recent remarks made by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams that while terrorism was ethically indefensible, the IRA were freedom fighters.

"In a democracy no such distinction can exist," Mr Davies declared.

He described the process set in train by the Good Friday Agreement as being at the "eleventh hour" but said the Conservatives would still support efforts to make it work.

However, he warned against any further "concessions", such as allowing those with terrorist convictions to sit on district police boards.

See also:

10 Oct 01 | Northern Ireland
Trimble attacks Blair's NI policy
10 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Tory leader's public services 'mission'
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