Gordon Brown's ministers choreographed the Lockerbie bomber's release from the very start
270 people were murdered when Pan Am flight 103 blew up over the town of Lockerbie in Scotland on Dec 21, 1988 (Photo: Getty)
The Gordon Brown government insisted again and again that they had nothing to do with the release from jail of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, and that it was all a matter for the devolved government up in Scotland.
Tonight the Daily Telegraph reveals that these claims were worthless and that ministers choreographed Megrahi’s release from the very start.
One can understand exactly what was going on here. On the one hand the British government was desperate to have Colonel Gaddafi as an ally, partly because of the rich trade opportunities in Libya and partly no doubt for intelligence gathering purposes. On the other hand Megrahi was a mass murderer, and there was no way that Britain could be seen to interfere with the course of justice.
Read more at blogs.telegraph.co.uk
So Brown’s government chose a pragmatic solution – very defensible on traditional foreign policy grounds. These revelations do, however, create a nasty problem for David Cameron. In opposition he angrily denounced the release of Megrahi, and pledged to publish all internal documents connected to Britain’s role in the affair. He is now under pressure from the United States to do so. In government, though, releasing the documents is the last thing he or the Foreign Office will want to do.