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Rotheram welcomes move

Steve Rotheram, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton Credit: PA WIRE

Steve Rotheram, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, said: "Today's welcome announcement will spare the families of the 96 the ordeal of having to return to South Yorkshire and relive the horror of the traumatic 1989 inquests.

"It is vital that the process for new inquests proceeds without any unnecessary delays and a judge be appointed, a location determined and time frame established, so that the families can move closer to finally understanding the actual cause of the deaths of their lost loved ones at Hillsborough."

Justice Minister - want to help families 'find closure'

The change to the Coroner's Act is part of a series of reforms by the Ministry of Justice to the coroner system.

The anguish of losing a loved one in circumstances that require an inquest is unimaginably heartbreaking for any family.

"We want to ensure inquests can happen without unnecessary delays so families can find closure.

"That is why I am granting coroners the power to move inquests - at their discretion - to the most suitable location. This will bring about greater flexibility, more timely hearings and some relief to families."



Coroners empowered to move inquests

Coroners are no longer restricted to holding inquests within their own districts following a change in the law, meaning the forthcoming Hillsborough inquiry could be held anywhere in England and Wales.

Hillsborough victims' relatives have spoken out against the fresh inquest into the deaths of 96 Liverpool football fans being held in Sheffield - site of the disaster and where the original overturned inquest was held.

But a change to the Coroners Act 1988 will mean inquests can be held at different locations in England and Wales, if it is in the best interest of the bereaved family and others, such as witnesses.