§ 25. Mr. Barry Porter
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received concerning vetting procedures for recruits to the Ulster Defence Regiment; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Cope
Recent events have given rise to concern that a small minority of members of the Ulster Defence Regiment may have associations with members of illegal paramilitary organisations, or other associations, which are incompatible with membership of the security forces. This is unacceptable and the General Officer Commanding has therefore made improvements in the process of screening new recruits to the UDR, including transfers from other Army units, and for follow-up action such as re-screening in cases of doubt. Among the new measures is the establishment of a special unit for screening UDR recruits, which will be manned by members of the Regular Army. They will have advice from the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Some representations have been received which, in general, support these changes.