Hillsborough: Senior minister says 'something's gone wrong in our criminal justice system'

96 Hillsborough victims
Hillsborough 96 Credit: ITV Granada

Nobody being held to account for the Hillsborough disaster "indicates that something has gone wrong in our criminal justice system", a senior minister has said.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs the Government must take action to ensure others do not face the same struggle for justice as experienced by the Hillsborough families.

He added: "Ms Eagle is right to say we must therefore do things that make sure this never happens in future because though there may be nothing that can be done further in the criminal justice system now, we can't allow this ever to happen again."

"And to have no accountability not just for the terrible events that happened but for the wickedness of the cover-up - (Ms Eagle) is so right to highlight the cruelty of blaming the families for the misery that was inflicted upon them.

"I will of course take forward any ideas she has to the Lord Chancellor (Robert Buckland), I will seek to get replies for any questions she has."

Mr Rees-Mogg's comments came in the wake of campaigners' claims that the families have been "let down" by the justice system after two former senior police officers and a solicitor were cleared of perverting the course of justice.

retired police officers Donald Denton and Alan Foster and solicitor Peter Metcalf, who acted for South Yorkshire Police Credit: PA

Former chief superintendent Donald Denton, 83, retired detective chief inspector Alan Foster, 74, and Peter Metcalf, 71, who was solicitor for the force in 1989, were acquitted on Wednesday after judge Mr Justice William Davis ruled there was no case to answer.

Mr Rees-Mogg went on: The three men acquitted on Wednesday were accused of amending officers' statements to minimise the blame on South Yorkshire Police following the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989, in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

In a ruling handed down at the Nightingale court at the Lowry theatre in Salford, judge Mr Justice William Davis said the amended statements were intended for a public inquiry into safety at sports grounds led by Lord Justice Taylor, but that was not a course of public justice.

Christine Burke, whose father Henry, 47, died in the disaster, addressed the judge in court after his decision, telling him: "The judiciary is broken."

She said: "I have got to live the rest of my life knowing my father was buried with a lie."

Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James died at Hillsborough, said: