Sunday 23 October 2016

Hillary emails revealed views on peace process and UK cuts to North

Hillary used home computer
Hillary used home computer

Sensitive material about the Northern Ireland peace process and the formation of the last British government was amongst emails found on Hillary Clinton's private internet server.

The revelation came as the former US Secretary of State attempted to defuse the escalating fall-out from the email row that has threatened her 2016 presidential election bid.

The emails relating to Northern Ireland and the UK were amongst thousands of pages of electronic documentation released by the US government in a bid to end the long-running row over Ms Clinton's use of her own home computer system.

Critics of Ms Clinton, particularly within the Republican ranks, claimed she jeopardised US security by using her own private server instead of a secure government computer network.

Critics have been so trenchant over the row that some Democrats are now urging Vice-President Joe Biden to consider contesting the presidential nomination.

While the e-mails relating to Northern Ireland and the UK are merely confidential, some of the e-mails relating to North Korea and the Middle East contain material which US officials have deemed classified.


The Washington Post reported that a total of 188 State Department emails were found to contain classified material.

The batch of several hundred emails released yesterday contained material from 2010 relating to both the peace process, the 2010 UK general election and the formation of the last British government.

The emails reveal that Ms Clinton, as secretary of state, reflected the deep interest in Anglo-Irish relations shown by her husband, President Bill Clinton.

One email, marked confidential and sent to Ms Clinton's private server on May 13, 2010, warned of the impact on the Northern Ireland peace process of the new Conservative-led government's tough policy on public expenditure cuts.

The US Secretary of State was to meet new Foreign Secretary William Hague. "Cameron has pledged to reduce public sector spending in NI. But the impact of public sector spending there [Northern Ireland] is not the same as in other parts of the UK because of 40 years of troubles," the briefing warned.

"Political stability depends upon economic stability. Removing funding specifically threatens community policing, creating a vacuum that the Real IRA and other men of violence would rush into.

"Cutting the public sector would make it difficult to increase private sector investment. Does the new government understand the US interest in NI?"

The memo also set out US concerns over British plans to cut defence spending.

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