Brown angry over bomber's welcome in Libya

Gordon Brown said today he was "angry" and "repulsed" at the reception given to the freed Lockerbie bomber in Libya - but still declined to say if he agreed with the decision to release him.

The Prime Minister insisted the British Government had "no role" in the decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi on compassionate grounds, but went on to say that his determination to fight terror remained "absolute".



He also dismissed suggestions that the decision by the Scottish Justice Secretary would undermine Britain's relationship with the US and its other allies against terrorism.













Asked whether he thought it was the right or wrong decision to release Megrahi, Mr Brown said his first thoughts had been with the families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing.

Speaking in Downing Street, he went on: "I was both angry and I was repulsed by the reception that a convicted bomber guilty of a huge terrorist crime received on his return to Libya.



"When I met (Libyan leader) Colonel Gaddafi over the summer, I made it absolutely clear to him that we had no role in making the decision about Megrahi's future.



"Because it was a quasi-judicial matter, because it was a matter legislated for by the Scottish Parliament and not by us, it was a matter over which we could not interfere and had no control over the final outcome.



"I want to make it absolutely clear, however, that whatever the decision that was made on compassionate grounds by the Scottish Parliament, our resolve to fight terrorism is absolute, our determination to work with other countries to fight and to root out terrorism is total, and we want to work with countries - even countries like Libya, who have renounced nuclear weapons now and want to join the international community - we want to work with them in the fight against terrorism around the world."



Mr Brown's comments, his first in public since last week's release of Megrahi, came as he faced reporters in Number 10 following talks with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.











Speaking alongside Mr Netanyahu, the Prime Minister also rejected suggestions that the row would damage relations with allies against terrorism.

"I don't think what has happened will undermine our relationships with Israel, or the United States, or other countries who engage with us in the fight against terrorism," he said.



"I made it absolutely clear that whatever the decision, that is made on a quasi-judicial basis by the Scottish Parliament, our determination to fight terrorism is clear.



"It is shown in all the action we have taken since September 11, it is shown in the support that we have given in Iraq and Afghanistan to dealing with problems where terrorism rears its ugly head, and it is shown in every action we are taking to protect the British people and protect people beyond Britain against the threat of terrorism."



Mr Brown has been severely criticised by opposition parties for failing to comment on the matter, despite finding time to express his views on the England cricket team's Ashes victory at the weekend.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Digital Marketing Manger,Mill Hill,London

To £55kpa (12 Month Contract): Charter Selection: Major household name charity...

Project Co-ordinator/Administrator - Central London

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Linux Systems Administrator - UNIX, Linux, Shell, Bash

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...

UNIX Systems Administrator - Oracle DBA, UNIX, Scripting

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Systems Administrator - Orac...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil