US politicians have called on the British government to hold an independent public inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The House of Representatives supported the White House in seeking full compliance with the terms of the Weston Park Agreement, and the establishment of an independent judicial inquiry.

It called on the British government to widen the scope of the controversial Inquiries Act 2005.

The House resolution was passed late on Wednesday night.

Mr Finucane was shot dead by loyalists at his north Belfast home in February 1989.

The Finucane family, human rights campaigners and nationalist politicians have expressed alarm at moves by the British government to ensure the tribunal on the murder is held privately under the Inquiries Act.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, welcomed the US House of Representatives resolution.

He said the Government had long supported the Finucane family in their campaign for a full independent judicial inquiry.

This was also the recommendation of Judge Cory, he said. Mr Ahern urged the British government to establish such an inquiry without further delay.