[Sinn Fein]

26 September 1996

London controversy a distraction

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams this morning met Labour Party MP's Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn. Mr. Adams described the meeting as ``very useful and informative.''

Speaking to journalists in London afterwards Mr. Adams said:

``I have come to London, as I have done many times in the past, to inform people here of the critical situation in the search for peace in Ireland.

``Regrettably the meeting with MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn became the subject of controversy. Both MPs were place in an untenable position and I sought to diffuse that situation. It was distracting from the bigger issue, the issue we should all be focusing on, that is how do we get the peace process back on track.''

Responding to a question about the attitude of the British Labour Party leadership Mr. Adams said:

``I want to be very measured in what I say. It is an internal matter for the British Labour Party. I would point out however that over recent years I have met in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords leading members of all the British Political Parties. I will expect to do so again.''

Concluding Mr. Adams said:

``Our focus at this time should be on rebuilding the peace process. The onus is on the two governments, particularly on Mr. Majors government, to create the conditions for a real process of negotiation. Sinn Fein is prepared to play our full part in that.''

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