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23/09/2021

British Secretary of State refuses to meet Derry's council to discuss release of republican prisoner Tony Taylor

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The British Secretary of State Karen Bradley has refused to meet a delegation from Derry's council to discuss the release of the republican prisoner Tony Taylor. It comes after Derry City and Strabane District Council agreed to send a letter to Ms Bradley seeking a meeting to discuss the ongoing incarceration of Mr Taylor, who has spent over 800 days in jail since his licence was revoked in March 2016. However, the Secretary of State has said she will not be meeting with the delegation. The news came at yesterday's monthly meeting of the local council, where the Chief Executive John Kelpie read out Ms Bradley's response to the council's letter. In the letter, Ms Bradley stated that it would be 'inappropriate' for her to comment on the issue given that the decision was made by the Parole Commission, who she said were an 'independent body', and therefore it would also be 'inappropriate' for her to comment in any meeting with the council. Commenting, the independent councillor Paul Gallagher, who proposed that the original letter should be sent, said that council should be 'appalled' at Ms Bradley's decision. See Monday's Derry News for more.

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