Shadow Defence Secretary 'Unequivocally Condems' IRA Bombings

Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith has said she "unequivocally condemns" IRA bombings in Northern Ireland.

Ms Griffith also said that she was "not going to speak for my leader" amidst scrutiny over Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's views on the IRA.

Both Mr Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have come under the spotlight over their association with the IRA, with Mr Corbyn repeatedly refusing to specifically condemn IRA terror attacks.

Newspaper reports over the weekend also claimed Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott had previously spoken out in support of the IRA.

Speaking at a Royal United Service Institute defence debate, Ms Griffith said:

"I'm not going to speak for my leader, but I can certainly tell you, as somebody who is old enough to remember the Troubles in Northern Ireland - I had friends who actually served in Northern Ireland - I absolutely and unequivocally condemn IRA bombings in Northern Ireland."

Ms Griffith has previously taken a stronger line on Trident renewal than Mr Corbyn, while she was also a notable absentee from the party's manifesto launch.

Defence minister Harriett Baldwin said: "In terms of the IRA, I am very happy to unequivocally condemn terrorism wherever it comes from.

"Personally, it's deeply shocking that one of the two people who could be Prime Minister on June 9 actually stood in support of the people who bombed us, the Conservative Party, in Brighton in the early 1980s."

Both Ms Baldwin and Ms Griffith also spoke out in support of British troops who are facing legal action over their actions during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

"In terms of our service personnel who served there, no way should they be subject to vexatious claims, long drawn out processes referring back to times which actually in many instances have already been dealt with and have already been examined fully," Ms Griffith said.

Ms Baldwin added:

"We will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that the people who served our country by serving in Northern Ireland are not subject to the kind of legal hounding that we have seen."