Live updates

  1. National

Coroner: 'You could not have done more by your loved ones'

The coroner in the Hillsborough inquest has told the families of the 96 fans who died in the disaster that they "could not have done more by your loved ones" after they fought for 27 years for answers.

Coroner Sir John Goldring's comments came as he also praised the jurors who "devoted over two years" of their lives to the inquests for their "remarkable" commitment and diligence.

He said: "I suspect I speak for most when I say how hugely impressed we have been.

"Sitting on a jury in the shortest case is to perform a public duty of great importance. Sitting on a jury for this length of time in such a demanding and at times deeply moving case is to perform a public service of the highest order."

The inquest finally closed today as a finding of "unlawful killings" was delivered and the relieved families of victims' applauded both the jury and coroner for all their hard work in the last two years.

  1. National

PM: Hillsborough inquests confirm fans were blameless

Prime Minister David Cameron Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the conclusion of the Hillsborough inquests has provided "official confirmation" that Liverpool fans were "utterly blameless in the disaster".

The 96 fans who died during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final were "unlawfully killed" at Wednesday's home ground, the inquests found this morning.

Mr Cameron paid tribute to the "tireless bravery" of survivors and victims' families in pursuing the truth. The landmark ruling was "long overdue" after 27 years of waiting, he said.

Today is a landmark moment in the quest for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who died on that dreadful day in April 1989.

It is also a long overdue day. The bereaved families and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster have had to wait 27 long years for the full facts of what happened and it is only due to their tireless bravery in pursuing the truth that we arrived at this momentous verdict.

All families and survivors now have official confirmation of what they always knew was the case - that the Liverpool fans were utterly blameless in the disaster that unfolded at Hillsborough.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Advertisement

Hillsborough campaigner Trevor Hicks: 'We'll be keeping an eye on CPS now'

Trevor Hicks lost daughters Sarah and Victoria in the tragedy Credit: PA

A man who lost his two daughters in the Hillsborough disaster said campaigners would keep a close eye on the work of the Crown Prosecution Service following the outcome of the inquests.

Trevor Hicks, the father of victims 19-year-old Sarah and Victoria, 15, also urged South Yorkshire Police to face up to the jury's finding of unlawful killing.

He said: "Obviously they've got to face up to the fact – even throughout these proceedings – at the way they have conducted themselves.

"I go to back to what (Lord Justice) Taylor said (in his 1990 report into the disaster) in the very beginning – it would have been better if the truth had been faced."

Asked how the justice campaign would progress in light of the verdicts, Mr Hicks said: "We're not going anywhere. Obviously we hand over to the CPS and other people now - and we will be keeping an eye on them.

"We have to hand over now. The arms of the state should be working for us now rather than against us."

I think if anyone is a winner today, it's society at large in that, no matter who you are, how big you are, or where you are in your organisation, the public will come after you if you do anything wrong."

– Trevor Hicks
  1. National

'Brave' jury praised after Hillsborough findings

The relatives of 96 people who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster have praised the "brave" jury who helped an inquest reach an "unlawful killing" finding 27-years after the tragedy.

Jenni Hicks, who lost her two teenage daughters at Hillsborough, said it was relief that the "right conclusions" had been reached as she thanked the jury for their help.

I just got this huge feeling of relief today that finally we've had a jury that's brave enough to come forward with the right conclusions, because its taken us 27 years to find a jury that's brave enough to do that.

– Jenni Hicks

Hinting that things still aren't over though she added: "You can't have conclusions like this and not have accountability for those deaths."

  1. National

Victims' families call for resignation of police chief

A group of 22 families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster have called for the resignation of the current chief constable of South Yorkshire Police.

Stephen Wright, brother of Graham Wright who died aged 17 at Hillsborough

Stephen Wright, the brother of Graham Wright who died at Hillsborough in 1989 at the age of 17, said:

Such a comprehensive admission of responsibility, not only for the disaster and loss of life, but also for the dishonest and outrageous cover-up was not honoured in these current inquests.

Where the five South Yorkshire Police legal teams simply pursued the denials of the past, blaming late drunken ticket-less fans for the deaths of our loved ones.

We the 22 families, call for the immediate resignation of David Crompton, the current chief constable.

– Stephen Wright

Advertisement

Sheffield Wednesday FC response to inquest conclusions

Safety procedures at the ground have changed 'beyond recognition' Credit: PA

Sheffield Wednesday FC has responded to the conclusion of the Hillsborough inquests. The 96 victims lost their lives attending the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the club's ground.

First and foremost, we recognise the tireless dedication of the families who have remained dignified throughout this process despite the enormously difficult evidence that had to be heard in detail over the course of the inquests.

Since the disaster, football has evolved immeasurably, with all stadia and associated safety procedures changing beyond recognition in the intervening years.

Both the ownership and leadership of Sheffield Wednesday has also changed in this time and we reiterate that the sincere condolences of the current chairman, board of directors and everyone at the club remain with the families of the 96 and our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragic events of 1989.

Sheffield Wednesday will be making no further comment at this time.

– Sheffield Wednesday FC
  1. National

Hillsborough families slam 'shameful' South Yorkshire police

Relatives of 96 people who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster have described the conduct of South Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service during the inquests as "shameful", following the ruling that the football fans were unlawfully killed.

In a powerful statement issued through their lawyers this afternoon, the families said that the police and ambulance services "fought tooth and nail" during the inquests and made the process take twice as long as it should have done.

Lawyer Elkan Abrahamson, speaks for 22 families:

Standing outside court, Marcia Willis-Stewart, acting on behalf of 77 families of the 96, spoke of "shock and dismay" at how they were treated in the aftermath of the disaster and their "anger at the cover-up that started immediately following."

South Yorkshire police chief apologises 'unreservedly' to Hillsborough families for 'catastrophic' policing

Chief Constable David Crompton Credit: PA

South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton has said his force "unequivocally" accepted the verdict of unlawful killing and the wider findings reached by the jury in the Hillsborough inquests.

He said the policing of the FA Cup semi-final had gone "catastrophically wrong" and that he wanted to "apologise unreservedly" to the families and all those affected.

Mr Crompton read a statement to journalists and camera crews outside the force's headquarters in Sheffield, but did not take questions.

I want to make it absolutely clear that we unequivocally accept the verdict of unlawful killing and the wider findings reached by the jury in the Hillsborough Inquests. On 15th April 1989, South Yorkshire Police got the policing of the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough catastrophically wrong.

It was and still is the biggest disaster in British sporting history. That day 96 people died and the lives of many others were changed forever. The force failed the victims and failed their families. Today, as I have said before, I want to apologise unreservedly to the families and all those affected.

There are two ongoing criminal investigations into the Hillsborough disaster focusing on the tragedy itself and allegations of corruption in the aftermath - that are expected to be completed in December or January. These inquests have been the longest inquests in British legal history, with nearly 300 days of evidence heard. Whilst these have been lengthy and difficult proceedings, they have once and for all provided a fresh opportunity to explore all of the available evidence about what happened. This has enabled the jury to reach the verdicts that they have today. The Hillsborough disaster changed the way in which major sporting events are policed and very many lessons have been learnt. With improvements in training, communications and technology, it is almost impossible to consider how the same set of circumstances could arise again today.

We will now take time to carefully reflect on the implications of the verdicts. We recognise that this is an important day for the families of those who died at the Hillsborough disaster and for everyone affected by what happened. They have waited 27 years for this outcome. Our thoughts are with them.

– South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton
Load more updates