Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Sunday, 1 February 2009

Unionists 'dishonest' on report

Jarlath Burns
Jarlath Burns is a member of the Consultative Group on the Past

Some senior unionists have been "almost duplicitous" in their views of a report on the legacy of the Troubles, one of the authors of the report has said.

Jarlath Burns said politicians spoke to the report team confidentially.

He said it was "a bit dishonest and almost duplicitous, some comments from people who had actually told us privately completely different things."

When Mr Burns was asked if he was referring to senior unionists, he said "absolutely".

Mr Burns, a member of the Consultative Group on the Past, was speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence.

"A lot of our politicians came up with a lot of the ideas which we had but felt that they couldn't really present them publicly or couldn't support us publicly," he said.

"One or two politicians said 'I know and I understand what you are doing in this report but I can't support this publically because I'd take a tremendous hit for it.

"Individually we found politicians very helpful, but once they get into this thing called the political party, very often they have to hide behind the policies and rhetoric of that party."

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