Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

No police apology for McKenzie

Kelvin MacKenzie is seeking an apology and recompense from South Yorkshire Police
Kelvin MacKenzie is seeking an apology and recompense from South Yorkshire Police

A chief constable has told former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie that he will not be getting an apology relating to the infamous "The Truth" story published in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster.

Mr MacKenzie provoked fresh anger from the Hillsborough families when it emerged he instructed solicitors to demand an "apology and recompense" from South Yorkshire Police.

Mr MacKenzie, writing in The Spectator magazine, said he suffered "personal vilification for decades" as a result of the newspaper's discredited reporting of the disaster.

The Sun's front-page story, which ran four days after the tragedy in April 1989, claimed that Liverpool fans urinated on police officers resuscitating the dying and stole from the dead.

According to extracts published on The Spectator's website, Mr MacKenzie writes: "Now I know - you know, we all know - that the fans were right. But it took 23 years, two inquiries, one inquest and research into 400,000 documents, many of which were kept secret under the 30-year no-publication rule, to discover there was a vast cover-up by South Yorkshire Police about the disaster. Where does that leave me?"

The former editor goes on to say that police patrols have been increased around his house and describes a "physical danger" he faces in Liverpool.

"But the people who have got away scot-free are South Yorkshire Police," he writes, adding that he is seeking recompense for "the lies their officers told".

Current South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton issued a statement which said: "SYP have received a letter from Kelvin MacKenzie's lawyers, which demands the force makes an apology to him. We have publicly apologised to the Hillsborough families and the Liverpool fans but we will not apologise to Mr MacKenzie. He chose to write his own headline and he should accept responsibility for it."

The Sun's 1989 report caused widespread revulsion in Liverpool and led to an almost-total boycott of the paper on Merseyside that exists to this day.

Mr MacKenzie and current Sun editor Dominic Mohan apologised for the newspaper's role the day after the panel's report was published.

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