Open letter by sister of Birmingham pub bombings' victim to Home Secretary

Julie Hambleton, who lost her sister Maxine in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, has written an open letter ahead of a meeting with the Home Secretary today. Julie, along with her brother Brian, founded the Justice4the21 campaign group, which demands justice for the victims of the attack.

Open letter by Julie Hambleton, Campaigner for Justice4the21, to Home Secretary

Julie wrote: Our wish is that, today, the Home Secretary will discuss and make available funding similar to that provided to the Hillsborough families.

Where we are?

On the 1st June 2016, the Senior Coroner for Birmingham & Solihull, Mrs Louise Hunt, decided to resume the inquests into the killing of three victims of the Birmingham pub bombing 74. This decision has not been challenged. The senior Coroner has decided the resumed inquests will be compliant with Article 2 of the ECHR. This means that Next of Kin need to be able to effectively participate in the process. Effective participation in an inquest engaging state responsibility demand legal representation. To date all legal representation has been pro bono and this is not sustainable.

The wreckage left at the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham after a bomb exploded Credit: PA

Hillsborough connection

We have the support of the Hillsborough families. The Prime Minister claimed the Hillsborough Inquest a ‘success’. We want parity with the Hillsborough families.

What would help?

To be able to have the continuity of legal representation from our solicitors and counsel. We expect there may need to be a discussion regarding inquest/inquiry.

What we want?

This is the last opportunity we will have to have an independent investigation into the murder of our loved ones. We have had no support in this for over 40 years – to date all investment to get us to this point has been by ourselves alone – in this room with you (the Home Secretary), in getting a decision from the Senior Coroner, in meeting your predecessor - has been under our own volition and with the support of our legal team. A Senior Coroner has decided there is new evidence, sufficient cause and reason, and powers to undertake a resumption of the investigation. We are aware of what this investigation can provide to us and its limitations.

Disclaimer: These are the views of campaigner Julie Hambleton and do not necessarily reflect those of ITV News