Roy Greenslade's previous work should be 'treated with suspicion'

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The erstwhile Guardian columnist last week revealed that during his career on Fleet Street he secretly sympathised with atrocities committed by paramilitary forces.

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Roy Greenslade's previous work should be 'treated with suspicion' after he 'undermined his credibility' by revealing long-held IRA support, says NI veteran Colonel Richard Kemp

  • The erstwhile Guardian columnist revealed he sympathised with IRA atrocities
  • Colonel Kemp said today: 'Everything he's ever written has been undermined'
  • Fellow Northern Ireland veteran Lord Benyon also criticized Mr Greenslade

Roy Greenslade's previous articles must now be 'treated with suspicion' and viewed through the lens of his long-standing support for the IRA, critics urged today.

The erstwhile Guardian columnist last week revealed that during his career on Fleet Street he secretly sympathised with atrocities committed by paramilitary forces.

He resigned as an honorary visiting professor of journalism at City, University of London, following a backlash from much of the industry and the families of victims.

And today Northern Ireland veterans also condemned the former Daily Mirror editor.

Colonel Richard Kemp, who was deployed to the province eight times under Operation Banner between 1979 and 2001, told MailOnline: 'Anything he wrote now needs to be treated with suspicion because he was effectively leading a double life.

'His credibility and everything he's ever written has been undermined.'

Roy Greenslade previous articles must now be 'treated with suspicion' and viewed through the lens of his long-standing support for the IRA, critics urged today

Roy Greenslade previous articles must now be 'treated with suspicion' and viewed through the lens of his long-standing support for the IRA, critics urged today

Colonel Richard Kemp, who was deployed to the province eight times under Operation Banner between 1979 and 2001, said anything Mr Greenslade wrote 'now needs to be treated with suspicion'

Colonel Richard Kemp, who was deployed to the province eight times under Operation Banner between 1979 and 2001, said anything Mr Greenslade wrote 'now needs to be treated with suspicion' 

Until March last year Mr Greenslade was a media commentator for the Guardian and regularly used his column to tear strips off the British press, which was largely united in its opposition to Irish Republicanism.  

He says he has now 'come out of hiding' to make public his 'complete agreement about the right of the Irish people to engage in armed struggle'.    

Colonel Kemp said: 'There are lots of people who supported IRA terrorism, including of course Jeremy Corbyn, but when it's a respectable newspaper editor who does it secretly, it's like getting a stab in the back.'

He added that Mr Greenslade had 'blood on his hands' by supporting the IRA, who the ex-soldier said would be buoyed by the backing of a British establishment figure.

'People like Greenslade, whose identity was known to people in the Republican movement, encouraged their violence,' he said.

Fellow Northern Ireland veteran Lord Benyon branded Mr Greenslade a 'useful idiot' to the IRA.

The ex-minister turned Tory peer, who served in the Royal Green Jackets, lost seven members of his regiment in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing by the IRA. 

Fellow Northern Ireland veteran Lord Benyon branded Mr Greenslade a 'useful idiot' to the IRA

Fellow Northern Ireland veteran Lord Benyon branded Mr Greenslade a 'useful idiot' to the IRA

In his British Journalism Review article, Mr Greenslade confirmed he had provided bail surety for IRA member John Downey (pictured), who was accused of involvement

In his British Journalism Review article, Mr Greenslade confirmed he had provided bail surety for IRA member John Downey (pictured), who was accused of involvement

The aftermath of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing carried out by the IRA

The aftermath of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing carried out by the IRA 

In his British Journalism Review article, Mr Greenslade confirmed he had provided bail surety for IRA member John Downey, who was accused of involvement.  

Lord Benyon today told MailOnline he was pleased Mr Greenslade was no longer an ethics lecturer at City University, saying 'it would have been an irony too hard to bear'. 

He added: 'I can't say I have been a greater student of Roy Greenslade's writings. But it feels it is part of a wider campaign of historical revisionism. 

'There has been a definite campaign by IRA supporters to say it was a war, which it wasn't.'

He added: 'I worry that young people who have no memory of those times and the families that bear the scars will think that it was understandable – it wasn't. It was a terrible, terrible time.' 

Roy Greenslade with his famous actress step-daughter Natascha Mcelhone (centre) and wife Noreen Taylor

Roy Greenslade with his famous actress step-daughter Natascha Mcelhone (centre) and wife Noreen Taylor 

Boris Johnson also weighed in on the row. His official spokesman said: 'All I can say is the simple fact that the PM outright condemns his comments, as I have said specifically those about the killing of civilians.'  

The former Guardian columnist retired from a full-time post at City University, where he lectured in ethics, in 2018, but he has 'occasionally' returned as a guest speaker.

In the article Mr Greenslade, 74, who is now a member of Sinn Fein, said he had first become involved in republican causes shortly after Bloody Sunday in 1972, when paratroopers shot dead 13 demonstrators.

He went on to hold senior roles at The Sun and the Sunday Times, as well as the editorship of the Daily Mirror in 1990 and 1991, but 'regularly' contributed to An Phoblacht, using the pen name George King, contradicting his newspapers which denounced the IRA's campaigns.

Jeremy Corbyn has previously denied support of the IRA. When he was Labour leader a spokeswoman rejected the claims and said he had 'always worked for peace and respect for human rights'.

  • Roy Greenslade's previous work should be 'treated with suspicion' photo


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