Mayhew to stay in Irish job

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The Independent Online
Sir Patrick Mayhew yesterday gave a clear signal to John Major that he does not want to be moved from the Northern Ireland office in a summer reshuffle, writes Colin Brown.

It came as Sir Patrick prepared plans to introduce a Bill to give terrorists an amnesty if they dispose of guns or bomb-making equipment. This is aimed at intensifying the pressure on the IRA to resume its ceasefire.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland made it clear that he believed it was his duty to remain in office to see the peace process through its most difficult period.

The amnesty Bill will give a statutory guarantee to terrorists that they will not be arrested for carrying lethal weapons or bombs for disposal.

The Irish government will introduce similar legislation to give terrorists equal rights to an amnesty in the Republic.

Ministerial sources said the terrorists were unlikely to give up guns, but have been anxious to surrender home-made bombs, when they become unstable.