The Undeniable Truth

(September 12, 2012)

Steve on Hillsborough Truth

On Wednesday 12th September 2012, after the worst human tragedy at a British football stadium which claimed the lives of 96 innocent men, women and children, the Prime Minister apologised to the families, city of Liverpool and all who were affected for a cover-up that has lasted 23 years.

Steve responds to the Prime Minister's statement and apology:

This is a momentous day. On behalf of the people of Liverpool, I thank the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for their statements of support to the families, supporters and the people of Liverpool. Finally, we have the undeniable truth; a truth that we know now means that many innocent people could and should have been saved; a truth that unequivocally confirms that Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster and that drink was not a significant factor; a truth that both vindicates and validates a 23-year campaign for truth and justice. Despite the criticism levelled at us of a “self-pity city”, we were right that there was a deliberate attempt to shift the blame and instigate a cover-up at the very highest level.

It is not about retribution—it is about responsibility.

Today, we have made history, but now we must change history.

So may I ask the Prime Minister to ensure that the Government co-operate fully with any potential police investigations into the actions of senior police officers and civil servants involved in the 1989 cover-up? Will he personally write to the families of all 96 victims and apologise? Most importantly, I urge him to work with the families, MPs and the Attorney-General so that an application may be made to the High Court to quash the original unsound verdicts of accidental death and to order a fresh coroner’s inquest. Only then will justice be seen to be done.

Prime Minister's Response to Steve

The Prime Minister: Let me pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman, who was not only there on that dreadful day but has the home of Liverpool FC in his constituency. He has campaigned very, very long and hard on this issue, including securing last October’s parliamentary debate, which was a key point in this developing issue and in getting it right.

On the hon. Gentleman’s specific points, I will look carefully at his extremely good idea of writing to the families. It has been vital that they have had this report before anybody else. Of course the Government will co-operate with any investigation. As I have said, all the Government papers that were given to the inquiry—a full trawl was done—will be published, including the Cabinet minutes. That has not been done in cases of peace and war, but it is absolutely essential, in this case, that it is. He is right that this is about responsibility; it is also about respect, and I think that that is what people have rightly earned today.

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