Mayhew to remain firm on Downing Street Declaration

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Indy Politics
SIR PATRICK MAYHEW, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, today will reaffirm the Government's determination to press on with the Downing Street Declaration, when he faces questions in the Commons for the first time since the IRA mortar attacks on Heathrow.

The attacks led to Tory backbench demands on the Government to seize the initiative from the terrorists.

Tory MPs said they had been urged by ministerial sources to 'back off and lower the pressure' on John Major over the IRA mainland campaign. However, they privately remained concerned about security lapses, in spite of assurances yesterday by the RUC.

Some senior Tory MPs are demanding evidence from Mr Major of cross-border co-operation on security action against IRA terrorism.

Sir Hugh Annesley, Chief Constable of the RUC, denied Ulster Unionist allegations, reported in yesterday's Independent, that the RUC was blaming intelligence services in the Republic for recent lapses. He said: 'Any suggestion that the Garda recently failed to follow through RUC intelligence in respect of an anticipated terrorist attack in Great Britain is completely without foundation. The RUC has not made any complaint nor is there any reason for so doing. On the contrary, the RUC is appreciative of the co-operation it receives from the Garda.'

Last night Dick Spring, the Irish foreign minister, welcomed Sir Hugh's statement. He rejected any suggestion of a failure by the Irish police to co- operate in preventing terrorist attacks in Britain.

He said there was excellent co-operation between forces north and south of the border. The Irish government remained fully committed to the Downing Street Declaration.

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