Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep comments on Dunblane on Wednesday 13th March 1996.
There’s obviously been a tragedy of great dimensions. I just wondered if we could have your initial response to what you’ve heard?
Well this is a sickening, evil act, that almost passes belief. Those children were in school. They had nothing to do with anything. They were where they should have been safe. They’re perhaps of a generation that has more to look forward to in optimism and hope than any before, and suddenly this appalling act just knocks out all that opportunity. My heart goes out to those parents and their families, and their teachers as well, who will have to cope with what has happened. It beggars belief that it could have happened.
A tragedy for the whole of Scotland?
I think the whole of the United Kingdom and beyond. The news of what happened has reached here at this conference, and head of government after head of government has come up to me already to express their sympathy with what has happened. We don’t yet have all the details, but we know sufficient to know that this is the sort of tragedy that occasionally the world has seen in recent years – today’s bitter, brutal, heartless thing to happen. We don’t have all the information yet, but I think it’s a tragedy of course for Scotland, but far beyond it as well.