An urgent investigation into why a convicted terrorist was interviewed to study politics at a Scottish university was ordered last night by its vice-chancellor, Dame Diana Rigg.
Stirling University students planned to block the enrollment of Lindsay Robb, who served four years of a ten-year sentence for attempting to smuggle guns through Scotland to the outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force. But yesterday it emerged that Robb, 33, released under the Good Friday Agreement, had applied for the course late last year but had yet to be accepted as an undergraduate.
He was interviewed for the four-year BA honours politics course by two senior university staff, who were aware of his criminal past.
The university's public relations manager, Alan Forrester, said: 'We are aware of the circumstances, and the application is being carefully considered.
'A decision will be taken in due course.' Last night Robb, a father of six, said he wanted to start a new life in Scotland and applied to study politics to get his life back in order. He claimed he was never involved in gunrunning and only met loyalist terrorists to further the peace process.
University vice-chancellor Dame Diana Rigg said the matter would have to be examined in greater detail.
She added: 'I won't comment until I know all the details.' After his release, Robb moved from Lurgan, County Armagh, to Airdrie in Lanarkshire.
Last year he married his Scottish girlfriend.
Robb was jailed in 1995 following security operation involving police forces across the UK and MI5.
The gunrunning conspiracy ended in Airdrie when armed police surrounded a car containing three of Robb's accomplices, a Hungarian automatic pistol and a home-made machinegun.