Sister of murder victim to stand in London By-election

The Justice for Peter McBride Campaign announced today that Kelly McBride, sister of the murdered Belfast teenager, would be standing as a candidate in this month’s by-election in the Brent East constituency in London.

The decision to stand in the election has been taken in response to the recent decision by Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram MP to retain the two soldiers convicted of the murder of Peter McBride. By standing in Brent East, Kelly McBride plans to bring her demands for the dismissal of the two soldiers right to the heart of political debate in Britain.

In a message to the voters of Brent East Ms McBride said:

“You may be wondering why a young mother from a working class area of north Belfast is standing as a candidate in Brent East. I don’t live in Brent East and I know little of the day-to-day problems that you face. I don’t expect to win this election but by standing I am hoping to win justice.

“If a Major can be expelled for cheating in a game show, why should convicted murderers be kept in the army, and even promoted? My brother Peter was unarmed, posed no threat but was shot in the back. The courts convicted the two soldiers who shot him of murder. But as recently as August 2003 Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram MP said that the two soldiers could remain in the army.

“Other government ministers, senior army officers and right-wing newspapers have supported the two soldiers. The decision to keep the two convicted murderers in the British army was made in London. So we decided to come to London!

“I am asking for your vote so that we can all send a simple message. The taking of a human life is more serious than cheating on a quiz show. It is wrong to retain two soldiers convicted of murder. Use your vote to give that message to this government. Not in your name.”

Kelly McBride will lodge her nomination papers at Brent Town Hall, 40 Lane, Wembley, tomorrow, Wednesday 3rd, at 1.30pm accompanied by supporters including John Kelly, spokesperson for the Bloody Sunday families, and comedian and political commentator Jeremy Hardy. Kelly Mc Bride will be available to meet voters tomorrow night in Willesden Library between 7.00pm and 9.00pm.

Spokesperson Shane O’Curry explained the decision to stand in Brent East:

“This constituency, which includes Kilburn, has the largest Irish vote in Britain. By coming to London, where the decisions that have so affected Kelly’s family have been made, we intend to give the electorate here the chance to voice their feelings on this issue. The McBride family already have the support of most political parties in Ireland, north and south, the Irish government, Amnesty International and other human rights groups. By standing here they hope to get the support of the people of Brent East, people who can see that employing and re-arming two convicted murderers is simply wrong.”