Hillsborough documents revelations will be ‘immense’
The Hillsborough Independent Panel has come up with a date, and today announced that it will relase all the documentation relating to the 1989 football disaster in Liverpool on 12 September. These will be available first to families of the victims, and subsequently to the general public. The panel will also publish an analysis of the relevance of the documentation in understanding what happened.
The panel was set up by the last Labour government – after some fierce tussles within Whitehall between Andy Burnham and the Ministry of Justice. It was asked to examine every document relating to the disaster with a view to eventual publication.
This process has taken almost three years, and involved the examination of more than 400,000 pages of documents from 80 different bodies. These will eventually be housed in a public archive in Liverpool.
Will anything new emerge? I must say I was pretty sceptical as to whether, after all these years, and several investigations of various kinds, there was anything new to come out. Some months ago the BBC obtained a leak of documents from within Downing Street at the time. These were mildly interesting, and showed that a Thatcher adviser and the Merseyside police assumed Liverpool fans were to blame. That, I assumed, was the most revealing material the panel had found.
I was wrong, it seems. Someone who has been following the panel’s work very closely tells me that the revelations which come out of the documents will be “immense” and “very significant”. As to why, my source wouldn’t be drawn.
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