HL Deb 19 December 2002 vol 642 c141WA
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the outcome of the meeting on 17 December between the Foreign Secretary and relatives of the Lockerbie victims. [HL777]

Baroness Amos

On 11 July in another place my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary explained he did not see a case for a public inquiry into the Lockerbie disaster, but was going to look into whether other arrangements for scrutiny could be established.

In considering what options might be available to us, we have taken the view that, to be of value, any scrutiny should be able to deliver new and useful conclusions despite the passage of time and the investigations that have already taken place.

Those previous investigations have been extensive. They include a fatal accident inquiry, the US President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, a Transport Select Committee inquiry, various internal Department of Transport reviews of aviation security, and the trial, conviction and unsuccessful appeal of al Megrahi.

We have concluded that, given the absence of any significant new information, the fact that the key issues have already been extensively explored, and action taken, including substantial changes to airport procedures, it is most unlikely that any further form of inquiry would unearth further lessons to be learned, 14 years after the event, which had not already been identified by earlier investigations.

The Government have therefore decided not to initiate any further form of review on Lockerbie.

The Foreign Secretary explained this decision to the Lockerbie relatives at a meeting in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 17 December.