Never one to pull away from difficult issues Ken Livingstone has expressed his view that the families of the London bombers should not be turned away from the national memorial service for the victims. During his weekly press conference he had the following to say:
"They have to decide if they want to come and share the grief of Londoners and celebrate the lives of those that were killed on the day. It would, I think, be particularly offensive to turn people away."
The Bishop of Sheffield agrees as long as the victims' families were consulted beforehand, but Brian Coleman, the Tory deputy chairman of the London Assembly, labelled the idea of bombers' families attending as "political correctness gone mad", adding: "You wouldn't invite a murderer's family to the victim's funeral."
To which we say true Mr Coleman, but no one is talking about inviting a murderer's family to anyone's funeral - the service is a national memorial and if people could get away from jerking their knees they may realise that the families of the bombers who had no idea what their relatives were up to also lost people they loved suddenly and in horrific circumstances. It takes nothing away from the victims or their families' grief to remember that the parents and siblings of these men have also suffered. There are also many cases where the families of murderers and the families of their victims have come together in grief and offered each other support.
Of course this may all be moot as none of the bombers families has yet to express an interest in attending, but it should keep the tabloids frothing for a day or two anyway.