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The Sun newspaper banned from Labour Party conference amid Hillsborough controversy

Liverpool fans hold up signs protesting against the Sun newspaper. Credit: PA Wire

Copies of The Sun newspaper have been banned from the Labour Party conference in Liverpool following complaints about the publication's coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

A widespread boycott of the paper has been in place in the city after it ran a story four days after the disaster which led to Liverpool fans being accused of stealing from victims and abusing police officers.

Tony Kearns, assistant general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, and a Liverpool fan, raised a point of order at Labour's conference asking for one of the exhibitors to "show some respect" to the city's people.

He told delegates: "What is not acceptable in this city is the London Lounge giving away free copies of The Sun newspaper at a Labour Party conference, in a city whose people and football club fans were vilified and lied about by that paper.

"They know they shouldn't be doing it because when one delegate asked to take it away, they wrapped it in a copy of The Times because they were ashamed of having to do it."

Labour delegates at the party conference in Liverpool. Credit: PA Wire

Days after the Hillsborough tragedy, in which 96 Liverpool supporters died at an FA Cup semi-final tie against Nottingham Forest, The Sun published a front-page story proclaiming to tell "the truth" based on anonymous police claims.

Fans were subsequently smeared with accusations that some had "picked pockets of victims", "urinated on cops" and beat up a policeman giving the "kiss of life".

The Sun later issued a front-page apology, but anger at the paper in Liverpool continues to run deep.

Wendy Nichols, a member of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee, said everybody in the conference hall was "united" behind Mr Kearns's comments.

She added that she would advise the Conference Arrangements Committee to ensure The Sun is "no longer in this building and should never come here again".

In 2014, Liverpool Labour councillor Martin Cummins resigned from the party after then Labour leader Ed Milliband posed for a photograph holding up a copy of The Sun.