Statement from SoS on Publication of Rosemary Nelson Inquiry Report

Written ministerial statement on the checking of the report for national security issues.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Owen Paterson): In my written statement to this House on 14 March, I outlined the process to check the report in order to meet the obligations on me in relation to Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and national security.I can confirm that this checking process has now been completed and I have received advice from the checking team which confirms that there is nothing in the report which, if published, could breach Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights by putting the lives or safety of individuals at risk, or put national security at risk. I am therefore satisfied that the report can be published in full. However, publication cannot take place during the election campaign in Northern Ireland. I will therefore make a further announcement confirming the date of publication shortly after the elections have taken place on 5 May.

The report has not been shown to me or to any other member of the Government, or to any officials except the members of the small team which carried out the checking process. I have not been briefed on the contents of the report, nor have any officials other than those in the checking team. Government will not have sight of the report until the day before it is published.

As with the publication of the Bloody Sunday and Billy Wright Inquiry reports, I intend to consider giving advance sight of the report to those who are deemed interested parties to the Inquiry, to their legal representatives and to some Members of this House.  I have discussed this with the Speaker of the House and he has agreed these advance sight arrangements.