Hillsborough campaigner Professor Phil Scraton turns down New Year's Honour

A leading Hillsborough campaigner who wrote what is regarded as the definitive account of the disaster has turned down an OBE in the Queen's New Years Honours list.

Professor Phil Scraton, who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel's research team, rejected the honour in protest "at those who remained unresponsive" to efforts for truth and justice after the tragedy.

The academic, who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel's research team, was one of the campaigners given the freedom of the city of Liverpool in September for his work.

Professor Phil Scraton, far right, was among the Hillsborough campaigners awarded the Freedom of Liverpool. Credit: PA

An inquest jury concluded in April that the 96 who died in the crush at Hillsborough Stadium on April 15 1989 were unlawfully killed.

Prof Scraton issued a statement explaining his decision to turn down the OBE.

Prof Scraton's statement, which was first reported by the BBC, he appreciated his decision "might come as a disappointment to some Hillsborough families, survivors and whoever nominated me".

But he added: "I could not accept an honour tied in name to the 'British Empire'. In my scholarship and teaching I remain a strong critic of the historical, cultural and political contexts of imperialism and their international legacy."