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Location and timescale of new Hillsborough inquests debated

Michael Mansfield
Michael Mansfield QC is representing the Hillsborough Family Support Group Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive/PA

Michael Mansfield QC, who represents 71 families from the Hillsborough Family Support group, said any delay caused by letting other investigations conclude was "simply out of the question".

He urged the judge to fix a date around the second week of January 2014 for the full inquests' start.

Even if that date is not fixed, setting a date is key, he said, as it "concentrates the mind".

Mr Mansfield said the families he represents want the inquests to be held in London after long discussions about the location.

"What was of interest was a genuine desire to locate somewhere that was above any suggestion of bias particularly one way or the other," he said.

He added that there was "a legacy" arising from Hillsborough and football.

He said animosity and rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester meant the inquests should not be held 25 miles down the M62 motorway in Manchester as some people have suggested.

The barrister said one of the large rooms in Westminster's Central Hall would be ideal and had housed previous inquiries such as the Bloody Sunday hearing when it sat in London.

A live link-up with Liverpool could be set up for those who could not travel to the capital, he added.

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Hillsborough campaigner 'glad we never gave up'

Anne Williams was one of the loudest voices throughout the campaigners' efforts for justice after the Hillsborough disaster.

It was her fight to get her son's inquest verdict of accidental death overturned that is credited with leading to fresh hearings for all 96 supporters who died.

After the Hillsborough Report was published in December last year, she paid tribute to Attorney General Dominic Grieve as "a man of his word" and said "he did what he promised".

I am glad we never gave up. It has been hard, but we wouldn't have been here today. I'd like a corporate manslaughter verdict in the inquest, it's the least for what they have done. It's a long process.

– Anne Williams speaking in December 2012
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