WE NEED TO HELP WORKING CLASS PROTESTANTS, SAYS FORMER BLAIR AIDE

Jonathan Powell was chief of staff to Tony Blair

Jonathan Powell was chief of staff to Tony Blair

A FORMER senior aide to Tony Blair has said that the government and the Stormont executive need to do more to help loyalist communities in Northern Ireland.

Jonathan Powell, who was chief of staff to Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister, made the comments in a BBC Radio Five Live documentary to be broadcast on Sunday.

In it, Colin Parry whose son Tim was killed in the 1993 Warrington bomb on the eve of Mothering Sunday, travels to Belfast.

Mr Powell said the loyalist community had not got enough political support.

“Sinn Fein have looked after their communities, the working class Catholic communities, the SDLP have looked after their communities and the middle class Catholics,” he said.

“The DUP have looked after the middle class unionists but no-one has looked after the working class Protestants trapped in their ghettos.

“No-one has provided an economic future for them, no-one has given them leadership, so they are trapped with those gangs the UVF and the UDA.

“No-one is offering them a way out and that is I think something that should be focused on.”

The programme, which is entitled No Going Back, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live on Sunday at 9pm.

Mr Powell was a key government negotiator during the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

Tim Parry, who was 12, and Johnathan Ball, aged three, died when two IRA bombs detonated in Warrington town centre in 1993 injuring 54 people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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