1. ITV Report

Public apologies issued for Hillsborough disaster cover-up

A report into the Hillsborough disaster has ruled that 'from the outset, South Yorkshire Police sought to deflect responsibility for the disaster onto Liverpool fans'.

Ninety-six Liverpool supporters, including two from Wales, died in a human crush at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989 during the start of an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Today, more than 400,000 pages taken from organisations including the UK Government, Sheffield City Council and the emergency services were released to the public, overseen by the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

The report found that the safety of the crowds at Hillsborough that day had been 'compromised at every level'.

Fans struggle to escape the severe overcrowding at Hillsborough stadium in 1989 Credit: David Giles/PA Wire

In a statement to the House of Commons on the panel's report, the Prime Minister made a public apology that the report's findings are only now being made public.

David Cameron said the report found that 164 statements were 'significantly amended', including the removal of 116 negative comments about the leadership of the police, to push the blame for the tragedy onto the fans.

It was profoundly wrong that police changed the record and tried to blame the fans.

With the weight of the new evidence in this report, it is right for me to make a proper apology to the families of those killed.

On behalf of the Government I am profoundly sorry that this injustice has been left uncorrected for so long.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Mr Cameron said the new evidence raised 'must be examined', and the Attorney General would be considering it as quickly as possible.

18-year-old John McBrien was one of the Welsh victims of the Hillsborough disaster Credit: Family / Police

Meanwhile the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police has apologised for the force's actions in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, saying he is 'profoundly sorry'.

David Crompton said he had been 'shocked' by the findings of the official report released today and officers had made 'grave errors'.

In the immediate aftermath, senior officers sought to change the record of events. Disgraceful lies were told, which blamed the Liverpool fans for the disaster.

I am profoundly sorry for the way the force failed on 15th April 1989 and I am doubly sorry for the injustice that followed.

I apologise to the families of the 96 and Liverpool fans.

– CHIEF CONSTABLE DAVID CROMPTON, SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE
Steven Brown from Flint also died in the tragedy Credit: Family / Police

Chief Constable David Crompton added: "On that day, South Yorkshire Police failed the victims and families. The police lost control.

"These actions have caused untold pain and distress for over 23 years.

"South Yorkshire Police is a very different place in 2012 from what it was 23 years ago and we will be fully open and transparent in helping to find answers to the questions posed by the panel today."

Sheffield City Council also issued an apology for the part it played in licensing and carrying out 'inadequate and poorly-recorded inspections' of the Hillsborough stadium.

Today's report found that Sheffield Wednesday's ground 'failed to meet minimum standards under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975'.

Our role has already been subject to public inquiry, including the Taylor inquiry, which found that our actions at the time were wanting and criticised. For that we sincerely apologise.

Our thoughts remain, as they always have been, with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the disaster.

– John Mothersole, Sheffield City Council chief executive

But the mother of one of the Welsh victims who died says, for her, the case is 'not over' and she believes there should be prosecutions for what happened that day.

Joan Hope from Holywell lost her 18-year-old son John. She told ITV Wales she would like to see the inquests reopened and the verdict of accidental death quashed.

"I think the verdict should be unlawful killing," she said. "It was a criminal act that was committed."

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