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Weekend football to kick off late for Hillsborough tribute

All English professional matches over the weekend of April 11-14 will kick off seven minutes later than scheduled to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium disaster.

The disaster aftermath

The tribute will take place in all games in the Premier League, Football League, Football Conference and FA Cup. There will be a minute's silence before each match kicks off.

It has been organised as "a mark of respect and remembrance" for the 96 people who lost their lives in the disaster on April 15, 1989.

That match, the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, was ended six minutes after kick-off, at 3:06pm.

Home Secretary to look into police "slurs" over Hillsborough drunkenness

Home Secretary Theresa May will look into a police force's "disgusting slurs" that drunkenness played a part in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans in the Hillsborough disaster.

Labour frontbencher Andy Burnham expressed his outrage that South Yorkshire Police are "re-running slurs about alcohol" after reports that senior officers will argue that drunkenness contributed significantly to the tragedy when new inquests open next month.

Mrs May said she was prepared to look into the matter after the shadow health secretary pointed out that the 1989 Taylor report and the 2012 HillsboroughIndependent Panel found that alcohol did not play a major part in the disaster.

The inquests are due to begin in Warrington, Cheshire, on March 31 - nearly 25 years on from the disaster at Sheffield's Hillsborough stadium.

The tragedy - Britain's worst sporting disaster - happened on April 15, 1989 during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest as thousands of fans were crushed on the ground's Lepping Lane terrace.

Verdicts of accidental death from the original Hillsborough inquest in March 1991 were quashed in December 2012.

The action was taken after the Hillsborough Independent Panel studied thousands of documents and reported that there had been a huge cover-up of what happened at Hillsborough and its aftermath.

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Home Secretary: Fresh witnesses in Hillsborough investigation

It has emerged that 1600 people have now given evidence to two investigations into police conduct in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission and criminal lawyers are both looking into the way police behaved after 96 people died at the stadium in 1989.

Today the Home Secretary, Theresa May, said 250 of the witnesses who have come forward have never given evidence before:

May vow on Hillsborough spy claims

The police watchdog will pursue concerns that families of Hillsborough victims were spied on if evidence emerges, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

Mrs May said the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had received no formal complaint or allegation but was aware of the concerns.

The IPCC is conducting its biggest-ever investigation which focuses largely on police actions after the tragedy that left 96 football fans dead, MPs heard.

Mrs May added police forces could be ordered to release all documents connected to the disaster if investigators encounter problems.

Addressing the concerns over undercover surveillance of families, Mrs May told MPs: "No formal complaint or allegation has been made to the IPCC but it is aware of the concerns and it is considering how it should best address those concerns.

"Of course, it is reviewing the material in relation to Hillsborough so if they discover any evidence in their investigation that suggests surveillance may have taken place of the sort that's been suggested then they will of course pursue that evidence."

Standing clubs face Hillsborough opposition

Football League clubs have called for the Government to review the rule that means stadiums in the Championship must be all-seater but face opposition from Hillsborough campaigners.

Press Association

A majority of the 72 clubs have voted for League chiefs to approach the sports minister to ask for a review and that rail seating - where there is a safety barrier on every row and seats can be locked in an upright position - be permitted.

All-seater stadiums in the Championship and Premier League became law after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, and Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough Family Support Group said they still opposed any reversion to standing areas.

Hillsborough survivors "intimidated" by police

Hillsborough survivors have spoken of how they were "scared and intimidated" by officers from the force tasked to independently investigate the football disaster.

The new investigation into the tragedy, which killed 96 Liverpool fans in 1989, has already uncovered a mass of statements given by police officers on the day that were doctored by South Yorkshire Police.

The Hillsborough disaster aftermath

A subsequent inquiry carried out by West Midlands Police into the handling of Hillsborough by their counterparts in South Yorkshire has also become the focus for possible criminal conduct after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found "differences" in statements taken from fans.

The BBC's Newsnight has spoken to survivors who have also spoken of being mistreated by officers from West Midlands Police and questioned how officers took their statements.

One of them, Nick Braley, said that when he told West Midlands officers that he thought South Yorkshire police failings had caused the disaster, he was told he could face prosecution.

Around 12,000 people spoke to West Midlands Police as part of its inquiry.

ITV Yorkshire

Analysis shows statements taken by West Midlands Police officers from supporters are not the same as the details given by the same individuals in questionnaires they had completed earlier.

Its investigation formed the basis of Lord Taylor's judicial inquiry into the disaster, the subsequent decision not to prosecute individuals, and the flawed inquests whose verdicts were quashed in 2012.

The IPCC said last year it wants to hear from anyone who gave evidence to West Midlands Police either in writing, via telephone or in face-to-face interviews.

Press Association

Last September a damning report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel found that South Yorkshire Police orchestrated a cover-up of events, falsified documents and blamed innocent supporters for the tragedy.

It also raised "serious questions" over the work done by the West Midlands police force.

The report led to a public apology by Prime Minister David Cameron, the quashing of the original inquest verdicts, the resignation of a chief constable and the launch of two further investigations into the disaster, with criminal prosecutions of individuals and corporate bodies not ruled out.

Last month IPCC investigators said they were close to "identifying and interviewing people as suspects".

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Major apologises to Hillsborough victims' families

Sir John Major Credit: ITV News

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has apologised to the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster for failing to launch the independent investigation they campaigned for.

The disaster, which killed 96 Liverpool fans in 1989, is at the centre of the biggest ever inquiry into police wrongdoing in the UK.

Last year a damning report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel found that South Yorkshire Police orchestrated a cover-up in the aftermath.

Tributes following the Hillsborough Disaster Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The lives of 41 fans could have been saved, the report concluded, as it cleared supporters of any wrongdoing or blame for the disaster.

Sir John said: "The Hillsborough report was pretty shocking. When there was agitation for a Hillsborough report we had pretty strong police views that there was no need for a report at the time and nowadays I'm not sure that assurance would ring as strongly as it did in the 1990s.

"Self-evidently the Hillsborough families who petitioned and demanded an independent report have been proven to be right and we must all say to them we are sorry, we should have dealt with it a good deal earlier and we should have listened a good deal more carefully.

"And I'm very happy to say that to the Hillsborough families today. We should have done more and I'm sorry in retrospect that we didn't.

"It is one of many things that you can look back on and regret."

New Hillsborough inquiry treated as 'manslaughter investigation'

The man leading the new criminal inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster says it's being treated as a manslaughter investigation.

Jon Stoddart has been giving his first television interviews since being appointed head of 'Operation Resolve'.

He says it will investigate all the agencies involved in the tragedy which cost 96 lives. Mr Stoddart has been talking to our correspondent Rachel Townsend.

Hillborough joy for campaigners

Hillsborough disaster tributes Credit: ITV Granada

Hillsborough camapigners have welcomed the announcement of a pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of the 96 victims.

The Judicial Office said it would be held in London on April 25 - probably with a live video link to Liverpool.

96 Liverpool fans died in the 1989 tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium.

The original inquest verdicts were quashed last year after a report revealed a cover-up. Lord Justice Goldring has been appointed coroner for the new hearings.

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