Alan Henning: Murdered hostage's brother condemns Government over 'gagging' of family

Reg Henning says he hoped David Cameron 'stands by his word' to find those responsible.

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The Independent Online

The brother of the murdered aid worker Alan Henning said his family were “gagged by the Government and the Foreign Office” and has called for David Cameron to put British troops on the ground in Syria and Iraq.

The British government believes the publicity of UK hostages raises their propaganda value and puts them in further danger. But Reg Henning refuted that stance and condemned the Government for preventing the family from speaking out about his brother’s capture.

“If we made more noise perhaps people down in London might have stood up and taken notice,” he said. “We’ve seen the campaign that Alan’s generated now, all the ribbons round Eccles and everything. If this was done six months ago it could have done more good.”

Mr Henning, who described his brother’s killers as “barbaric”, said he hoped David Cameron “stands by his word” to find those responsible. “Go and find them, bring them to justice, bring them over here, let us try them," he said in an emotional interview with BBC news.


Britain has joined a US-led coalition and the RAF has struck a number of Isis targets in Iraq – but Mr Henning suggested that a plan without ground troops would be futile in bringing his brother’s killers to justice. “You’re not going to find them by dropping a few bombs” he said. “We need to send ground forces in to find out where these monsters are – the sooner we do it the sooner the killing stops.”

Alan Henning, a 47-year-old taxi-driver from Salford in Greater Manchester, was taken hostage last December after travelling with humanitarian aid convoys to Syria. His death was confirmed last Friday after a video released by Isis militants appeared to end hopes that he might be freed after appeals by dozens of Muslim leaders in the UK and worldwide.

The English-accented Isis fighter who killed Mr Henning is also thought to have murdered David Haines, an aid worker from Perth in Scotland, and two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff. US security sources say Western security services have identified the man, though they have not disclosed details.

The Foreign Office did not comment directly on the claims last night. A spokesman said: “We are offering the family every support possible.”