Mr. Albert Baker

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1989.

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Photo of Ken Livingstone Ken Livingstone , Brent East 12:00 am, 13th July 1989

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is yet able to make a further statement as to the case of Mr. Albert Baker.

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

We are considering Mr. Baker's application for permanent transfer to Northern Ireland. We shall reach a decision as soon as possible.

Photo of Ken Livingstone Ken Livingstone , Brent East

Does the Minister agree that, given that Albert Baker has now been in prison for over 15 years —admittedly for four horrifying sectarian murders of quite innocent Catholics—there is now growing suspicion that the constant refusal to make any move on the case of Albert Baker is related to the fact that he has begun to name those members of the security forces and the RUC who provided the weapons that he used in the murders, and that there is now an interest on the part of the Government to keep him inside for as long as possible so that those matters will not be properly aired when Albert Baker gets out?

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I have always noted that, when the hon. Gentleman gets to his feet, he brings discredit upon himself. The only reason why, hitherto, a refusal has been given is because the Northern Ireland Office has concluded that he would be at risk in the general prison system in Northern Ireland and that, by reason of his behaviour, he is unfit to be housed in the special unit. We are looking at the matter again, and he will be told the decision shortly.