Former Conservative Party Chairman Norman Tebbit has said that Prime Minister David Cameron should consider holding an inquiry into the Brighton bomb, which killed five people at the Conservative Party Conference in 1984.
The bomb was planted at the Grand Hotel in Brighton by Provisional IRA member Patrick Magee in an attempt to kill the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Mrs Thatcher survived as did all of the members of her cabinet staying at the hotel for the conference, however Norman Tebbit, who was then President of the Board of Trade was severely injured, as was his wife Margaret.
While Tebbit recovered from his injuries his wife was left permanently disabled. Her injuries led him to take the decision to leave front line politics in order to act as her carer, a move which may have helped bring about the downfall of Thatcher by removing one of her fiercest defenders from her side.
Lord Tebbit welcomed the Saville report, released yesterday, which showed that 13 people killed by British paratroopers on "Bloody Sunday" in 1972 were not armed or posing a threat to the soldiers.
However he said a similar inquiry should be considered for the victims of the Brighton bomb. Writing on his Telegraph blog Lord Tebbit said, "I hope that Mr Cameron's unwillingness to contemplate any more costly open-ended inquiries will not exclude a public inquiry into the Brighton murders at the Conservative Party Conference in 1984."
Lord Tebbit has said in the past that he would be willing to forgive Mr Magee if he showed that he had genuinely repented of his actions. However Mr Magee, who was released from prison under the Good Friday Agreement, has always justified his actions as part of a struggle in a legitimate cause.
Lord Tebbit also said that should Mr Magee ever repent of his actions a necessary symbol of that repentance would be his naming of his superiors in the PIRA who ordered and assisted him to plant the bomb.
In his blog Lord Tebbit said today, "Just as the families of the victims at Londonderry had a right to know whether people in high places had plotted the killings, so the surviving victims and the families of the dead of Brighton deserve to know if the killer Magee acted on his own, or whether the murders were plotted by people in IRA/Sinn Fein - and, if so, who those plotters were.
"The victims of Brighton are no less important than those of Londonderry. They should not be treated as second-class victims."