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MP uses Westminster debate to call for public inquiry into shootings

June 24, 2010 12:00 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron yesterday reiterated his call for a public inquiry into the Cumbria shootings during a parliamentary debate.

Speaking during the debate, Tim said: "There are not words to describe the horrors of 2 June and what followed, but there are words to describe the response of the community-compassion and solidarity, above all others ... that response defined and continues to define what happened.

"It needs to be said that the emergency services dealt with things with stoicism, compassion and professionalism. We expect the emergency services to be outstanding, and they were, under extreme pressure."

Speaking specifically about the need for a public inquiry, Tim said: " .. a knee-jerk response from legislators would not be sensible. That does not mean that there should be no response; but hard, tragic cases make bad law … It goes without saying that there will be no trial, and that is why a full-and I would say public-inquiry is crucial, on terms set, as has already been said, by the community. That should not be to point the finger at anyone other than the culprit-not the emergency services or anyone else-but an inquiry is necessary to enable us to learn lessons from the tragedy."

Tim also spoke against using the shooting as a reason to reopen the debate on whether Cumbria police should merge with the Lancashire force. He continued: "Some of the patronising stuff written in the media focused on Cumbria being a pitifully small county with a police force that cannot deal with its problems. That is nonsense. Recently there was a proposal to merge Cumbria and Lancashire police forces; that would be the wrong lesson to learn. It would not help the grieving communities to put their police headquarters in Preston rather than Penrith."