Birmingham Pub Inquests: Police will spend £1m of public money on lawyers

Aftermath of the Birmingham Pub Bombings in 1974 Credit: PA

West Midlands Police has revealed that it plans to spend £1 million on lawyers when the Birmingham pub bombings inquests are reopened.

Birmingham and Solihull coroner Louise Hunt made the historic ruling to reopen the inquests earlier this month.

She announced the decision after receiving “significant” new information about the IRA terrorist atrocity on 21 November 1974.

The coroner would not disclose the source but said the information related to the claim that British security services may have had knowledge of the bombings beforehand.

The decision followed years of campaigning by victims’ relatives.

Aftermath of the Birmingham Pub Bombings in 1974 Credit: PA

Now West Midlands Police has admitted in its annual statement of accounts that around £1 million of public money will be spent on lawyers to represent the force at the hearing:

Timeline of events:

  • The bombings at the Tavern in the Town pub and the Mulberry Bush killed 21 people and injured more than 180

  • An investigation by West Midlands Police led to the Birmingham Six being wrongly jailed for the crime

  • Those men were freed in 1991 after their convictions were ruled unsafe by the Court of Appeal

  • In the 1970s, inquests were opened after the attacks

  • The process was overtaken by the criminal inquiry and the later convictions of the Birmingham Six, so the inquests were never resumed

  • Ms Hunt revealed she had received a “significant” piece of new information at a previous hearing in May