View from Westminster: Brendan O’Hara MP

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Monday saw the acquittal of the Chennai Six in India, included among them a name many will already be familiar with – Billy Irving from Campbeltown.

I am thrilled to hear that Billy will finally be home for Christmas; a conclusion to this injustice has been long overdue.

This whole period has been immensely stressful for all the families of the Chennai Six.

But Monday was a day of victory for those families who have done some incredible work to keep the momentum of this case going.  But I particularly want to pay tribute to Yvonne MacHugh who has been an inspiration and has never relented.

Earlier this month I went to Downing Street with Billy’s family to plead with the UK Government to do more to secure his release from jail.

This visit followed shortly after my seventh meeting with my third foreign office minister in just two years.

I have kept in regular contact with Yvonne but I often wonder if this week’s result would have come about had it not been for the pressure from Yvonne and the other families who were so badly affected by this.

I am delighted and I look forward to hearing that Billy is finally on a plane home to be with his family again.