A CONSERVATIVE councillor has branded a former newspaper editor’s comments “sick” and “disgusting”.

Roy Greenslade, who has a home in Brighton and previously edited the Daily Mirror, announced he believed the IRA bombings were “justified” in an article for the March edition of the British Journalism review.

In the early hours of October 12, 1984, an IRA bomb was detonated at The Grand hotel on Brighton seafront during the Conservative Party’s conference, killing five and injuring dozens of others.

The Argus: Five people were killed in the IRA blastFive people were killed in the IRA blast

Conservative councillor for Hangleton and Knoll, Dawn Barnett, who remembers the horrific day well, said she is disgusted with Mr Greenslade’s comments.

She said: “I think what he has said is terrible.

“Violence breeds violence."

Cllr Barnett described his comments as "disgusting".

She added: “I remember it well, I was busy bringing up my family at the time and we went along there while taking the dog for a run, I’ll never forget.

“This was such a terrible thing, to say it was justified is just really sick.”

Mr Greenslade said he was “in complete agreement about the right of the Irish people to engage in armed struggle” and provided bail surety for an IRA man accused of participating in the Hyde Park bombing in 1982.

The former Fleet Street editor completed a degree in politics at the University of Sussex in 1974, where he earned his way through studying by sub-editing at publications including The Argus.

He also served as the paper’s community correspondent for Kemp Town up until 2017.

Lord Norman Tebbit, the then secretary of state for trade and industry, was asleep in his room in The Grand Hotel with his wife when the bomb went off.

The Argus: Lord Norman Tebbit's wife was left permanently disabled after the explosionLord Norman Tebbit's wife was left permanently disabled after the explosion

He later described the horrifying moment the blast echoed through the hotel.

He said: “It woke me up and then the chandelier started swinging and ceiling fell in.

“We were covered in debris, we were completely covered – we were pinned down.”

Trapped by bricks and pieces of furniture, it was a number of hours before the emergency services got to the Conservative MP and his wife Margaret, who was left permanently disabled as a result of the blast.

Asked if he was panicking, he said: “What’s the point in panicking. I was just thinking, I hope somebody gets me out before I bleed to death.”

Speaking about Mr Greenslade’s comments, Lord Tebbit told the Sunday Times: “I presume that the extension of his argument is that those who disagree with him are entitled to kill him.”

Conservative MP, Sir Anthony Berry, North-West party chairman Eric Taylor, Lady Jeanne Shattock, Lady Muriel Maclean and Roberta Wakeham were killed in The Grand hotel blast.