Karen Bradley left speechless by photo of boy in coffin shot by the British Army

Karen Bradley was left speechless after she was shown a photograph of an 11-year-old boy in his coffin who was shot dead by the British Army.

It came during as she meet with families bereaved by security force violence who wanted to express concern about her controversial comments on state killings.

Mrs Bradley was handed a number of pictures of the Stephen McConomy who was shot and killed by a plastic bullet close to his home in Derry/ Londonderry in 1982.

The MP was said to be left "speechless" at the images which included one of him wearing his school uniform two weeks before he was killed and another on a life support machine.

The Northern Ireland Secretary reached out to a number of victims’ groups on a visit to Belfast after she said killings carried out by the police and military during the Troubles were not crimes, rather actions of people "fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way".

Her comments sparked fury among victims despite distancing herself from her comments on Thursday when she said: "I want to be very clear – I do not believe what I said, that is not my view."

They were especially ill-judged coming a week before long-awaited decisions from Northern Ireland prosecutors on whether 17 soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry/Londonderry in 1972 will face prosecution.

Relatives of those killed in shootings involving the Army in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971 refused to meet the Conservative MP today.

The families, who say they have been requesting a meeting with the minister for some time to no avail, refused her offer and dismissed her apology.

John Teggart, whose father Danny was shot 14 times at Ballymurphy, said Mrs Bradley  should resign.

"We will not meet her, and have one request for Mrs  Bradley  and that is for her to resign immediately," he said.

Mrs Bradley but Relatives for Justice said they wanted to tell her how her comments had made them feel.

Speaking after the meeting, Frances Meehan, whose brother was shot dead by the British Army in 1980, called for Mrs Bradley to resign.

"I wanted to meet her because I wanted to look her in the eye to tell her how I felt about her comments in the House of Commons," she said.

"I also wanted to say to her that on this day, International Women’s Day, that she is an insult to women. We know she has apologised but her position is completely and utterly untenable and she needs to resign."

Mrs Bradley rowed back on her comments on Thursday as she battled to keep her job.

She said: "I want to be very clear – I do not believe what I said, that is not my view.

"I believe that where crimes have happened, no matter who the perpetrator, they should be properly investigated by an independent authority and they should be prosecuted.

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