Dad of five-year-old killed in Britain's deadliest shooting calls Boris Johnson 'appalling' for gun comments

PUBLISHED: 12:20 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:20 09 December 2019

The father of a five-year-old girl who was killed in Britain’s deadliest mass-shooting has called out Boris Johnson for ‘appalling’ comments he made over gun control. Photo: PA

The father of a five-year-old girl who was killed in Britain's deadliest mass-shooting has called out Boris Johnson for 'appalling' comments he made over gun control. Photo: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The father of a five-year-old girl who was killed in Britain's deadliest mass-shooting has called out Boris Johnson for 'appalling' comments he made over gun control.

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Dr Mick North (whose daughter died in the Dunblane massacre in 1996) and Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill during a meeting with police, shooting representatives and gun control campaigners at Bute House in Edinburgh. Photo: PADr Mick North (whose daughter died in the Dunblane massacre in 1996) and Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill during a meeting with police, shooting representatives and gun control campaigners at Bute House in Edinburgh. Photo: PA

Mick North's daughter Sophie was one of 16 children shot dead alongside their teacher in 1996 at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland.

North has now spoken out after it emerged that the prime minister had likened the confiscation of handguns in the wake of that shooting to a "nanny confiscating toys".

In an article published in 1997, the prime minister said the seizure of firearms was comparable to "one of those vast Indian programmes of compulsory vasectomy".

The article was re-surfaced by the Red Roar blog, and North, a long-time advocate of gun control, said he knew about the prime minister's comments at the time.

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"Nevertheless I'm still appalled by the attitude reflected by his words, an attitude which to my mind makes him totally unsuitable to be the UK's prime minister," he told The Herald Scotland.

"None of the views Johnson expressed in the past should be viewed in isolation, excused as one off errors of judgement or just as 'Boris being Boris'.

"They are part of a pattern which reflects exactly the kind of unsympathetic person he is."

The deadliest shooting in Britain's history lead to the outlawing of most private handguns. Within a year of the shooting, Johnson wrote that "it is as if the state had decided to round up all the model train sets or the stamp collections, an operation causing immense distress to thousands of innocent enthusiasts, and just about as pointless."

Johnson added: "An entire pastime will have been exterminated. Britain will be the only country in the world where it is forbidden to practise for an Olympic sport."

North said that Johnson is entitled to his own opinions on gun control, but said: "The tone of what he said was distasteful and disparaging with no empathy whatsoever with the victims and their families, indeed with the public in general."

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