Home Secretary Suella Braverman meets Hillsborough families for the first time

ITV News' Amy Welch spoke to the families of the Hillsborough disaster about meeting Suella Braverman

The families of the Hillsborough victims know what it’s like to wait.

They spent three decades fighting for the truth about what happened to their loved ones and in 2016 an inquest ruled that 97 football fans had been unlawfully killed at a football match in Sheffield. 

It wasn’t their fault and the police have since apologised for their failings. But what if anything has changed since that fateful day?

In 2016, Bishop James Jones published a report of recommendations aimed at ensuring the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families is not repeated.

"This is a positive move," said Barry Devonside, who lost his 18-year-old son Chris in the disaster

It made 25 recommendations and asked the government to respond, and today Home Secretary Suella Braverman finally met with the bereaved behind closed doors in Liverpool.

The press weren’t told about the meeting, and they certainly weren’t invited, and the secrecy surrounding it has left some families feeling frustrated.

However, most left the meeting feeling hopeful that at least some of the recommendations will become reality. 

Barry Devonside lost his son Chris who was 18. 

"I certainly was confident in what she said today would happen, when we look back to when the disaster happened and everything we’ve gone through, inquests public inquiries and things like that, this is a positive move."

However, others say they’ve heard it all before. 

Deanna Matthews wasn’t even born when her Uncle Brian died but has spent her life campaigning for change in the hope other families don’t suffer the way they have. 

"There was absolutely nothing of substance that we’ve heard, not that we were expecting anything, you can’t help but get your hopes up a little bit and think oh this might be the time to acknowledge what we’ve been through."

Deanna Matthews was not yet born when her Uncle Brian died but has spent her life campaigning.

The government are already considering plans for an independent public advocate who would provide support and advice to the bereaved.

But they’re yet to commit to Hillsborough law which would force officials who make mistakes and cause public disasters to tell the truth. 

A government spokesperson told ITV News: “The Hillsborough disaster was a devastating tragedy and we recognise the significant impact it continues to have on those affected, their families and communities.  

“The Home Secretary and Justice Secretary have met with the Hillsborough families to discuss the government’s response to the Bishop’s report, which will be published shortly."

If change does take place, it will have implications far beyond Merseyside and could help those affected by the Manchester Arena terror attack, and contaminated blood scandal. 

And after so many years of campaigning the Hillsborough families say they’ll keep fighting, in the hope others don’t have to.

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