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Pub bombings: 'No principled objection' to new inquest

A barrister representing West Midlands Police has told a hearing that the force has "no principled objection" to the original inquest into the Birmingham pub bombings reopening.

A decision will be made by the Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull later this month.

Pub bombings inquest hearing: 'New evidence' exists

A lawyer representing the families of the Birmingham pub bombings has told a hearing into the potential reopening of the original inquest that new evidence has yet to be heard.

No one has been successfully convicted over the bombings in November 1974, which killed 21 people and injured almost 200 more.

The original inquest was closed in 1975 without hearing evidence and never reopened after the wrongful convictions of the 'Birmingham Six' were quashed in 1991.

Ashley Underwood QC has told the hearing what the victims' families think the scope of the inquest should be:

  • 1. Was there time for police to evacuate pubs on 21 November 1974?
  • 2. If there was time between a bomb warning and the explosions, why didn't an evacuation happen?
  • 3. After the explosions, were all reasonable attempt made for ambulances to attend to the needy?
  • 4. Was there a falsification by police of records, and if so why?

The hearing in Solihull lasts three days, and a decision on whether to reopen the inquest will be made by the Senior Coroner later this month.

Follow our reporter Chris Halpin for the latest.

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Pub bombings: Inquest hearing gets underway

A three-day hearing into the potential re-opening of the original Birmingham pub bombings inquest has got underway in Solihull.

The original inquest, which closed in 1975, was never reopened after the wrongful convictions of the 'Birmingham Six' were quashed in 1991.

Twenty one people were killed in the atrocities in November 1974.

Our reporter Chris Halpin has the latest:

Families arrive at pub bombings inquest hearing

The families of the pub bombings victims want the original inquest to re-open. Credit: Chris Halpin / ITV News Central

The families of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings have arrived at a hearing where the case for re-opening the original inquest will be heard.

Twenty-one people were killed and 182 injured when the suspected IRA bombs exploded in two city centre pubs on November 21 1974.

Six men wrongly convicted of the murders - the Birmingham Six - were released in 1991 after their convictions were overturned by the Court of Appeal.

An inquest, which opened days after the bombings, was closed without hearing evidence in 1975 in response to the guilty verdicts.

The Birmingham and Solihull Coroner will hear arguments from lawyers representing the families and also West Midlands Police over the next three days.

  1. National

Junior doctors told what to do in case of major emergency

Johann Malawana, chair of Junior Doctors Committee

Junior doctors have been told what to do if a trust declares a major emergency during the strike.

During the last junior doctors' strike, Sandwell Hospital in West Bromwich declared a level 4 incident and told its junior doctors they must attend work.

As you know when we last took industrial action there was some confusion about when trusts could call junior doctors back into work.

In addition to the legal advice we took at that time we now have a joint letter signed by Sir Bruce Keogh of NHS England and the BMA's Mark Porter setting out the protocol should a major unpredictable incident occur.

– Johann Malawana, chair of Junior Doctors Committee

According to the letter, junior doctors can be requested to work if:

  • There is both "exception and sustained deterioration in performance such as to endanger patient safety and cannot be managed through the deployment of the hospital’s senior hospital doctors and the junior doctors providing emergency care".
  • The Trust must make a formal request to NHS England, who will then contact the BMA.

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