§ 14. Ms. Clare Short
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why it has not yet been possible to conclude the review of the convictions of six men for the Birmingham pub bombings.
§ Ms. Short
It does not make anyone in Birmingham feel any better about the Birmingham bombings to know that six innocent men have now been locked up for 12 years. Can the Home Secretary tell us when he is likely to reach a conclusion? Can he also tell us whether it is true that the Home Office repeated the forensic tests and found that the tests that were used were totally unreliable?
§ Mr. Hurd
I am not going to deal bit by bit with the particular aspects of this complicated matter. The hon. Lady would not seriously expect me to do that. When suggestions are made that there is new evidence, as has happened recently with Mr. Mullin's book, it must he right, if I am to make a serious judgment, a serious decision, in the matter, that I should take those new arguments into consideration. That is what is now happening. I have no desire or interest in delaying a decision on that. It is a very difficult decision now, as it has always been. The criteria have been well established under the different holders of my office, and I shall seek to apply those criteria to the best of my ability.