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Birmingham pub bombings: Families seek public inquiry decision within weeks

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Relatives of victims of the Birmingham pub bombings have called on the Home Secretary to give a firm commitment within weeks on holding a public inquiry into their loved ones’ deaths.

After speaking to the Home Secretary on a Zoom call, the families of those killed in the 1974 blasts asked Priti Patel “to indicate when she will provide a written decision” before the May local elections.

Ms Patel agreed to a video meeting with the relatives, held on Wednesday, after a request from West Midlands mayor Andy Street.

My sympathies are with all those families who shared incredibly powerful and moving accounts of this awful event.

Mr Street, who was also on the dial-in, had raised the campaigners’ case with Ms Patel earlier last year.

Two bombs planted in the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs exploded on November 21 1974, killing 21 people and injuring up to 220 more.

A flawed investigation by West Midlands Police led to the wrongful convictions of the Birmingham Six – one of the worst miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

Nobody has been brought to justice for the blasts despite years of campaigning led by the Justice 4 The 21 group.

Birmingham pub bombings / PA Wire

In 2019, an inquest found a botched IRA warning was responsible for victims’ unlawful killings.

However, the coronial process was described as “unsatisfactory” by some of the bereaved, for not prompting criminal charges against any of the perpetrators.

Following the video meeting, the Home Secretary said: “My sympathies are with all those families who shared incredibly powerful and moving accounts of this awful event.

“I recognise the desire of the victims’ families and the wider community to see those responsible brought to justice, and I want to thank the families for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the case.”

Birmingham pub bombings / PA Wire

Mr Street said it “was another step towards a public inquiry and securing justice for the 21 murdered that night” and he would “continue to make the case”.

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