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WATCH: Calls for government to adopt Hillsborough Law

Credit: ITV Granada Reports

The Prime Minister's adviser on Hillsborough is calling for a change in the way bereaved families are treated after public disasters.

Bishop James Jones, the former Bishop of Liverpool, also wants to stop organisations giving a higher priority to their reputation rather than being held to account.

Tonight there are calls on the government to now adopt a Hillsborough Law which would criminalise public servants who give misleading information to hearings.


Watch: Five men will go to trial over Hillsborough charges

It will be at least another twelve months before five men go on trial to face charges over the Hillsborough disaster.

One of the five who appeared in court today is the former Chief Constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire Sir Norman Bettison.

96 Liverpool fans died at the FA Cup semi-final in1989.

All the defendants have indicated they'll plead not guilty and will try to get their case dismissed.

Our Hillsborough correspondent Andy Bonner has the latest developments.

Statement from former Chief David Crompton after High Court win

Former Chief Constable David Crompton has also released a statement in regards to his High Court win challenging the decision that required him to resign.

Former Chief Constable David Crompton Credit: PA

I welcome today's decision by the court to overturn the Police and Crime Commissioner's decisions, first to suspend me, and then to require me to resign.

The court's judgement concludes Dr Billings acted unlawfully from start to finish, branding his course of decision-making 'irrational', 'perverse', 'unreasonable', 'misconceived' and 'wholly disproportionate'.

The public and a police force are entitled to expect their Police and Crime Commissioner to act fairly and rationally.

The history related by the court demonstrates a complete absence of both.

Similarly, the court found the Police and Crime Panels's reasoning in support of Dr Billings to be 'thin and unconvincing'.

Dr Billings has spent a huge amount of public money trying to defend actions which he was advised in the strongest terms not to pursue by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

It is highly significant that today's judgment repeats almost all of the arguments made originally by Sir Thomas (Winsor) nearly a year ago in his advice under the statutory process to the Police and Crime Commissioner. This money would have been better spent on operational policing.

– Former Chief Constable, David Crompton


Statement from Hillsborough Family Support Group

The Hillsborough Family Support Group have released a statement following former Chief Constable David Crompton's High Court win challenging the decision requiring him to resign.

Margaret Aspinall lost her son James in the Hillsborough Disaster Credit: ITV News

I find it rather strange that today has been chosen by the court to make the announcement about David Crompton.

The decision was taken last Friday, so why wait until today to break this news, is it simply to brush it under the carpet?

David Crompton was prepared yet again to blame the Liverpool fans and made the recent Hillsborough inquests last much longer than originally expected and put the families through so much grief and pain. David has spent millions of pounds over the past few years defending the indefensible and that is why the Hillsborough Families called for him to go and I still believe that Dr Alan Billings made the correct decision.

We all must remember Dr Billings was only appointed to his role of Police and Crime Commissioner in November 2014 and he had to be seen to be doing things right.

Nothing at all surprises me what goes on, what annoys me is that this senior officer can win this case, yet we, the HFSG, went for judicial reviews and lost them, the truth surrounding Hillsborough was covered up all these years, and if Crompton had had his way, it still would be.

– Margaret Aspinall, Chairman HFSG
  1. Andy Bonner, ITV News

Hillsborough families mark one-year since the landmark inquest verdicts

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A Merseyside solicitor acting for some of the Hillsborough families says its unlikely a bill forcing police to be truthful in public enquiries will be passed before the general election.

It's a year since since inquests returned unlawful killing verdicts on the 96 Liverpool FC fans who died in the disaster on 15 April 1989.

This summer, prosecutors will announce whether they'll bring criminal proceedings against any suspects.

There are concerns the proposed Hillsborough Law is unlikely to get past its initial stages in parliament.

Elkan Abrahamson, solicitor with the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said he hopes there 'political will' for the law will still be among MPs after June's vote.

Andy Bonner reports:

"It was introduced under the 10 Minute Rule which is a procedure whereby bills are introduced but generally don't get beyond that stage.

"However, it's there now. It's in Hansard. It's printed as a bill. We hope that's there as a foundation if the political will emerges after the next election."

– Elkan Abrahamson, solicitor

Cathedral to host low-key Hillsborough memorial

Credit: PA Images

A low-key memorial service will take place on Saturday to mark the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Annual services at Anfield to remember the 96 Liverpool fans who died in Britain's worst sporting disaster will no longer take place at the request of the families belonging to the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) who organised it.

From this year the city's two cathedrals will take it in turn to host simple commemorations in an initiative from the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, and the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, in liaison with Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.

The half-hour service at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will start at 2.45pm and maintain a minute's silence at 3.06pm - when the fateful 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest was stopped at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield.

It will include simple prayers and time for silent reflection but will not include any sermons or other words beyond the simple prayers on the service sheet.

"On behalf of all the churches we count it a great privilege to offer this brief and simple service.

"We will remember the 96 before God, and pray for their families, for the survivors and for all those who remain deeply affected by the tragedy.

"Our cathedrals are here for the people and we are proud and glad to offer the opportunity on April 15 to reflect and to pray in peace."

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Credit: ITV Granada

On behalf of all the churches we count it a great privilege to offer this brief and simple service.

We will remember the 96 before God, and pray for their families, for the survivors and for all those who remain deeply affected by the tragedy.

Our cathedrals are here for the people and we are proud and glad to offer the opportunity on April 15 to reflect and to pray in peace.

– Bishop of Liverpool

Media have been asked not to attend the Hillsborough service as it is "a private act of worship".

Players and staff of Liverpool FC will also pause to observe a minute's silence at 3.06pm and the day's training session at Melwood will stop so that respects can be paid alongside the temporary Hillsborough memorial which will be moved to the complex at the request of HFSG.

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