Letter: Northern Ireland: the Army's continuing support for the RUC; Labour's policy

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Sir: As Labour Party spokesperson on Northern Ireland, I plead guilty to supporting and advancing Labour Party policy. The National Executive Committee and the Labour Party conference in 1981 overwhelmingly adopted the policy of a united Ireland by consent - long before I was appointed to my present position.

Later, in 1985, the principle of a united Ireland by consent was accepted by both the British and Irish governments in article one of the Anglo-Irish agreement. The Downing Street declaration was enthusiastically welcomed by John Smith for the same reason. If there is such an 'Emerald Isle tendency' as Ruth Dudley Edwards describes, perhaps it can be found in John Major's Cabinet.

Yours faithfully,


MP for Hull North (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

The writer is Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.