Labour leader Ed Miliband says he will continue to apply pressure on Libya to pay compensation to IRA victims if he becomes Prime Minister in May.
Mr Miliband was responding to a letter from Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick who has been in contact with the survivors of the 1996 Docklands bomb which claimed the lives of two and left 100 others injured.
The Labour leader told Mr Fitzpatrick that he “can assure you that if I am Prime Minster I will keep up the pressure on the Libyan government to secure a fair deal for British families who suffered as a result of IRA terrorism”.
The Government has been pressing Libya for compensation after revelations that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime supplied the Semtex to the IRA to build the bomb. US victims of terrorism have received a total of £1billion but British victims have so far missed out.
In his letter, Mr Miliband adds: “It cannot be right that there has been one regime of compensation applying to citizens in the US and another for British victims.”
The Government has been pressing Libya to secure money for the families of people killed or injured in IRA attacks that used plastic explosives and other weapons supplied by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
President of the Docklands Victims Association Jonathan Ganesh, who was injured in the blast said the pledge by the Labour leader was a “big step”.
He added: “This is hopefully another step towards the people who suffered getting the compensation they deserve. I’m very pleased that Mr Miliband is speaking out and putting this on his agenda. I hope he will keep his promise to those who are suffering.”
Hamida Bashir, whose son Inam Bashir was killed the 1996 attack, said she did “not want a penny of compensation for the loss of my son Inam but I’m pleased that Mr Miliband wants to help those with horrific injuries”.
Some survivors were still living with the injuries suffered in the blast and needed continual care.
Meanwhile, Mr Miliband chose the lofty perch of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Olympic Park to launch his party’s election campaign.
Much to the disgruntlement of some visitors who had paid to enter the artwork, the Labour leader brought with him key lieutenants Douglas Alexander, Chuka Umunna, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Ed Balls, Harriet Harman, Rachel Reeves, Tristram Hunt and Ivan Lewis, as well as a phalanx of press to capture the spirit of 2012.
He hailed the Olympic Stadium as “that place where all the UK came together and showed the world what we can do” and called the race for No.10 “neck and neck”