Calls to waive VAT on Hillsborough single

There have been calls to waive the VAT on the Hillsborough charity single. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The stars behind the Hillsborough charity single have called on the chancellor to waive VAT on it.

The version of the Hollies' hit 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' by The Justice Collective was launched at Liverpool's HMV store by stars including Kenny Dalglish and comedian John Bishop.

The song was produced by Robbie Williams' long-time collaborator Guy Chambers with all the proceeds going to cover the legal costs of the families of the 96 Liverpool supporters killed in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

Dalglish, Bishop and Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram urged Chancellor George Osborne to waive the VAT on the single, something he has already done for the X Factor winner's single - the proceeds of which are also going to charity.

Mr Rotheram appears on the record with artists like Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, former X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson and Spice Girl Mel C, other contributors including Peter Hooton of The Farm, Dave McCabe of The Zutons, John Power from Cast and Gerry Marsden, with contributions from Paloma Faith, Eliza Doolittle, Beverley Knight, Mick Jones of The Clash and Paul Heaton.

The release of the single comes after a damning report into the handling of the crowd crush at Hillsborough Stadium which left 96 fans dead.

A spokesman for bookmakers William Hill said the song was 1/7 to be Christmas number one with X Factor winner James Arthur 9/2 second favourite.

A spokesman for HMV said hundreds have been visiting the store to purchase the single.

Frankie Feeney, 51, from Liverpool, was the first customer in line and was served by Kenny Dalglish, and Ian Ayre, managing director of Liverpool Football Club, also picked up a copy, while many customers purchased multiple copies, including one local lad in his 20s who bought 96 in tribute to each fan who tragically lost their lives.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury said they could not comment on the VAT issue until after a decision is made by the High Court on Wednesday on whether to quash the original inquest verdicts.