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Hillsborough data ruling challenged

The Government is to appeal against a ruling that Margaret Thatcher's discussions about the Hillsborough tragedy should be made public.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has ordered the release of records of a Cabinet meeting held shortly after the 1989 event - which saw 96 Liverpool fans killed in a crush at the Sheffield stadium.

He rejected the argument that the move would inhibit "free and frank" exchanges between ministers bound by collective responsibility.

However, a Cabinet Office spokesman confirmed this afternoon that it was taking the matter to the Information Tribunal.

"The Government's view is that it is in the public interest for the process that is under way through the Hillsborough Independent Panel be allowed to take its course," he said.

"The terms of reference for that process includes the intention to disclose information to the Hillsborough families first.

"The Cabinet Office absolutely agrees with the principle of providing information to families about the Hillsborough stadium disaster, but we believe it is important that any release of information should be managed through the Panel's processes and in line with their terms of reference.

"The Cabinet Office is fully committed to the disclosure process in line with the Terms of Reference and is working with the Panel to achieve that. The Panel have had access to all the information covered by this decision notice."

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