Hillsborough fury over new DPP
Families of Hillsborough disaster victims have branded Alison Saunders' appointment as the country's top prosecutor as an "absolute disgrace" in light of her record in dealing with the tragedy.
London's Chief Crown Prosecutor Ms Saunders, who has been involved in high-profile cases including the retrial of Stephen Lawrence's killers, is to take over from Keir Starmer QC as Director of Public Prosecutions.
In 1996, as an Attorney General Office advisor to the Solicitor General, she rejected relatives' pleas for a fresh inquest into the death of Kevin Williams, one of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the disaster on April 15, 1989.
As the woman in charge of the Crown Prosecution Service, she will ultimately decide who should face criminal charges as part of the fresh police investigation into the tragedy launched by the Home Secretary at the end of last year.
Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, which represents the interests of around 70 affected families, has demanded to meet Ms Saunders to confirm if she "still holds the same opinions".
"I would like to meet her," she said. "I want to know does her opinion still stand to this day. If it does not still stand - what made her change her mind and why?
"It's an absolute disgrace she has been appointed as DPP - how is that justice for the 96?"
Kevin Williams' mother Anne campaigned for a fresh inquest into her son's death before she died from cancer in April, fighting against the coroner's findings that he died before the imposed 3.15pm cut-off.
Within documents compiled by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, a report from Ms Saunders concluded that on the "basis of the new evidence put forward" by Kevin's relatives "there is nothing which makes a fresh inquest necessary or in the interests of justice".
Ms Saunders, who also worked on prosecutions stemming from the London riots, joined the CPS in 1986, the year it was formed, and has been Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London since 2009.