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Queen backs Grand National Hillsborough tribute

The Queen backs carnation tribute at Aintree Credit: PA

The Queen is backing a campaign for Grand National visitors to wear red carnations in honour of the people who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

The Aintree Festival starts today and is expected to attract more than a hundred and fifty- thousand people.

The carnation tribute to Hillsborough victims is the idea of Dave Hughes from Merseyside who says he's overwhelmed by the response. Dave, a lollipop man from Maghull, launched it less than a month ago in the hope that everyone heading to the three-day festival would wear a buttonhole in memory of those who died in the tragedy.

Watch: Hillsborough campaigners collect their CBEs from the Queen

Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks have been awarded CBEs for services to the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died at the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989.

They were separately presented with their honours by the Queen during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs Aspinall and Mr Hicks spoke briefly to the Queen after she pinned their medals. The ceremony concluded with Her Majesty shaking their hands.

Mrs Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, along with Mr Hicks, president of the group, campaigned for decades until the quashing of earlier inquest verdicts and the holding of the ongoing new inquests at a special hearing in Warrington.

"It is quite obvious that she knew about Hillsborough because she did say 'Things are better for you all now, hopefully? Things are looking a little bit different now'.

"I know she cannot say much about it, I just said yes."

– Margaret Aspinall, speaking after the investiture today.

Mrs Aspinall's son James, 18, and Mr Hicks's daughters Sarah, 19, and Victoria, 15, were among the 96 Liverpool fans who were killed in Britain's worst sporting disaster.

Mr Hicks described it as a day of "mixed emotions", saying that "it is the first time I have got something that I would rather not have had, for obvious reasons, but I am extremely proud to be here".

Everton to unveil Hillsborough plaque ahead of derby

Everton are to unveil a plaque to the 96 ahead of the derby on Sturday Credit: PA

Everton are to unveil a plaque commemorating the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster ahead of Saturday's derby meeting with Liverpool at Goodison Park.

The unveiling will be held at the Park End Stand and conducted by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

This is a really lovely gesture from Everton, paying tribute to the 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough.

I would like to thank Bill and everyone involved, not least the Everton fans who have provided great support to the families over the years.

– Margaret Aspinall, whose son James was killed at Hillsborough


Hillsborough families welcome civil servant sacking

Families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster say they're glad a junior civil servant has been sacked for making offensive comments about the disaster.

The 24 year-old, whose not being named, changed the phrase "You'll never walk alone" on the Wikipedia website to read "You'll never walk again."

Our Hillsborough correspondent Andy Bonner reports.

Worker sacked over Hillsborough slur 'will not be made public'

Describing the individual as a "young, junior administrative officer", Francis Maude said it was "long-standing established practice that in such cases an individual's name will not be made public".

He said the investigation had been unable to identify the source of other abusive edits - which began on the 20th anniversary of the 1989 tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans died. In one instance "Blame Liverpool fans" was anonymously added to the Hillsborough section of the online encyclopedia.

There are substantial technical obstacles to investigating the other edits. The deletion of internet data logs in the ordinary course of business means that tracing historic edits to a particular department, building or individual has proved extremely difficult.

"In the absence of other specific leads, and despite a great deal of forensic and other work, it has not been possible to identify the originators of the 2009 edit or any of the others in question.

"Subject to further information or leads coming to light, the investigation into the edits is therefore concluded."

– Francis Maude

Worker sacked over online Hillsborough slurs

A civil servant has been sacked for making offensive Wikipedia edits about the Hillsborough disaster, Francis Maude said today. A junior administrator has been identified as being behind posts in 2012 and fired for gross misconduct, the Cabinet Office minister said.

The 24-year-old, born in London but based in Liverpool, changed the phrase "You'll never walk alone", the anthem of Liverpool FC, to read: "You'll never walk again."

He was tracked down after the Daily Telegraph and internet group Wikipediocracy cross-referenced his social media history and work records. Efforts to find other culprits are being abandoned.

Extensive further inquiries were taken forward as a Civil Service disciplinary matter, involving potential breaches of the Civil Service Code and of individual departments' policies on acceptable behaviour.

"An individual was then subject to a formal disciplinary investigation and dismissed for gross misconduct, on the grounds of responsibility for the 2012 edits."

– Francis Maude
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