Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Cameron 'sorry' over Hillsborough perversion of justice

Liverpool fans at Hillsborough, trying to escape severe overcrowding
Liverpool fans at Hillsborough, trying to escape severe overcrowding
Liverpool fans at Hillsborough, trying to escape severe overcrowding
Debbie Routledge, a survivor in the Hillsborough stadium disaster 1989
Fans on the pitch at Hillsborough. FA Cup semi final April 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. 96 football fans lost their lives in Britain's worst stadium disaster
Fans receiving attention on the pitch. Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield will always bear the scar of England's worst football tragedy. On April 15th 1989, 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives having gone to watch their side contest an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest
Gill and Brian Caldwell being crushed against the fence in the Liverpool enclosure at Hillsborough
Fans crushed against the perimeter fence at Hillsborough
An injured fan receiveing attention on the pitch
An injured fan sits against the goalpost with his leg in a splint
Fans recieving medical attention on the pitch
Hillsborough disaster policeman looks at a pile of police helmets lying on pitch amongst debris
Police shielding injured fans at Hillsborough
Kevin Williams stretchered off on the Hillsborough pitch during the Hillsborough disaster
Injured fans lie on advertising boards which were used as makeshift stretchers
Victims at the Hillsborough football disaster, 1989
Victims at the Hillsborough football disaster, 1989
Bent and twisted fencing at Hillsborough in the aftermath of the tragedy
A distraught young Liverpool fan in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, his wife Marina and daughter Kelly during the memorial service for the victims of the Hillsborough Tragedy.
Scarves and floral tributes laid at Anfield
Scarves and floral tributes at Hillsborough
A young boy adding to the floral tributes at Anfield's Shankly gates
A message written on a wall remebering the Hillsborough disaster victims
Andrew Devine, coma victim of the Hillsborough football disaster
Hillsborough disaster victim Andrew Devine who is now communicating by pressing a micro switch
Margaret Thatcher at Hillsborough
Anfield fans leave flowers in the nets
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
The Hillsborough tragedy - 1989
A sea of flowers at Hillsborough stadium, in memory of the Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough
Hillsborough Memorial
A Liverpool supporter holding a banner
Fans and players observe a minutes silence at Hillsborough
Liverpool's Xabi Alonso wearing a black armband in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: The Hillsborough memorial is covered with tributes at Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool Football Club on September 10, 2012 in Liverpool, England. On Wednesday relatives and friends of the 96 victims will see the full disclosure of all documents relating to the disaster when they are made public at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Prime Minister David Cameron has told the Commons that the Hillsborough disaster "was one of the greatest peace time tragedies of the last century".

Click here to read the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report

Speaking after Prime Minister's Questions he said many of the findings "are deeply distressing".

New evidence - released today by Hillsborough Independent Panel - showed that police "tried to change the record of evidence".

In all, said Mr Cameron, 164 police statements were altered - including the removal of 116 negative comments about the leadership of the police, to push the blame for the tragedy onto the fans.

In his most damning remark he confirmed that police "tried to change the evidence and blame the fans".

Issuing his apology, the Prime Minister said: "On behalf of the country I am profoundly sorry for the double injustice suffered by the familes of the victims.

The new evidence raised "must be examined", and the Attorney General would be considering it as quickly as possible.

The Prime Minister said the panel had found the safety of the crowds at Hillsborough had been "compromised at every level".

Downing Street confirmed that Mr Cameron received a copy of the Hillsborough report this morning, after it was seen by the families.

The Prime Minister said there was no evidence of government departments trying to conceal the truth.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel this morning released 400,000 pages of previously unpublished official documents relating to the disaster

The families of the 96 football fans who died in Britain's deadliest sporting disaster were the first to see documents from 8am.

A report into the disaster by Lord Justice Taylor, published in 1990, found that the main reason for the disaster was a failure of "police control" but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.

The victims' families say it is an injustice that no individual or organisation has been held fully accountable for the disaster. They believe a major incident plan was never initiated by South Yorkshire Police and fans in the Leppings Lane end were denied emergency medical attention.

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