Page last updated at 07:27 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010

Bloody Sunday report plan changed

Shaun Woodward
Shaun Woodward had expected to receive the report next week

The report into the events of Bloody Sunday will not now be handed to the government next week as planned.

Instead lawyers will review the report while it remains in the possession of tribunal chairman Lord Saville.

The government and the Inquiry have agreed the report will stay with Lord Saville while it is checked for issues of national security and right to life.

Families of the victims had feared the report would be delayed or amended before publication.

The report will now remain with Lord Saville until all the issues surrounding its publication have been resolved, which is expected to take about two weeks.

It will then go to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward, who will decide when it will be made public.

This may be before the general election.

A spokesperson for the Inquiry said the revised arrangements would "reduce the length of time for which the secretary of state has to be in possession of the report before publication".

They also said it would not have any adverse effect on the timetable leading to publication.

Victims' relatives Tony Doherty and John Kelly backed Lord Saville's decision.

"While we disagree fundamentally with the need for a security review, we nevertheless welcome Lord Saville's decision to retain possession of the report until it is ready to be made public," they said in a joint statement.

"We feel now that this report can and should be released before the dissolution of Parliament and we urge Lord Saville to take every precaution to ensure that his report is not undermined in any way."

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