28 August 2009
A lot can supposedly happen in a week in politics. Not under Labour. It was last Thursday that I wrote to the Prime Minister asking him about both the British Government's role in, and his own personal view of, the release of Mr al-Megrahi. One week on and we're still none the wiser.
All he has said is that he was "angry" and "repulsed" by the scenes in Tripoli. Of course he was. So was everyone. Seeing a convicted murderer being treated like a returning hero was disgusting, especially for those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
But the real questions remain unanswered. To begin with, what dealings has his Government had with that of Libya on this issue? For our part, the Conservative Party will be putting down parliamentary questions to find out.
And most importantly of all, what is Gordon Brown's opinion of the decision to return Mr al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds? I have made my view clear. I think it was wrong. I see no justice in affording mercy to someone who showed no mercy to his victims. Others have expressed similar opinions too.
But what does the Prime Minister think? It's not good enough hiding behind the cloak of constitutional convention and saying this is a devolved matter. On a matter of international importance, which has damaged our reputation abroad and undermined relations with our foremost ally, we need to know what the Prime Minister thinks.
That is a basic requirement of leadership - a quality which once again Gordon Brown has demonstrated he lacks.