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University withdraws Bettison's honorary fellowship

Liverpool John Moores University has withdrawn the honorary fellowship awarded to Sir Norman Bettison in light of the IPCC report into Hillsborough.

Sir Norman Bettison Credit: Press Association

In a statement the university said:

"In light of the conclusions published by the Independent Police Complaints Commission Report (28 March 2013), Liverpool John Moores University has withdrawn the Honorary Fellowship awarded to Sir Norman Bettison in 2004."

"As previously stated the University would like to commend the families and friends of those who died in the Hillsborough tragedy for the dignity and fortitude they have shown during their lengthy campaign for justice."


  1. National

Campaigner: Bettison should be 'stripped of his honours'

The chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group has reacted to the IPCC's finding that former West Yorkshire police chief Sir Norman Bettison "has a case to answer" for his actions in the wake of the Hillsborough report.

Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son, James, in the disaster, said it was "another step on the road to justice" for the 96 victims.

"In the IPCC's own words, this was gross misconduct and, in my mind, that is a very serious offence and the fact that he resigned should not mean that this report is the end of it"

Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group Credit: Press Association

"We want to see him stripped of his honours - his knighthood and his Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

"I believe he resigned to protect his pension and his behaviour has shown he is not deserving of that pension."

Statement from Bettison's solicitor after IPCC report

Sir Norman Bettison's solicitor has released the following statement after the publication of the IPCC's report:

"The IPCC has recognised that my client, Sir Norman Bettison, did himself wish to be investigated by the IPCC in connection with allegations made in respect of Hillsborough. He remains keen to see that the investigation into the substantive matters is progressed as quickly as possible."

"The IPCC has decided that it considers my client acted improperly in seeking approval from the Police Authority to refer himself to the IPCC. The decision that there is a case to answer, is not a finding of guilt. This point is accepted, explicitly, in the foreword of the IPCC report and it therefore sits, uncomfortably, with some of the comments in the investigator's report, made after an incomplete investigation."

"Sir Norman voluntarily attended interview, provided a written statement and invited the IPCC to interview witnesses. Since there can be no formal misconduct hearing my client is denied the opportunity to call those witnesses, which the IPCC declined to interview, and is denied the opportunity to put his case and challenge other evidence, which calls into question the fairness of such a process."

  1. National

Bettison had case to face for 'abuse of authority'

Former West Yorkshire Police chief constable Sir Norman Bettison would "have a case to answer for gross misconduct" over his dealings with his police authority following the publication of a damning report on the Hillsborough disaster, according to the police watchdog.

The investigation focused on contact between Sir Norman, Fraser Sampson (the Chief Executive of WYPA) and Mark Burns-Williamson (Chair of WYPA).

Sir Norman Bettison resigned from the West Yorkshire Police last October. Credit: Press Association

The IPCC concluded Sir Norman had a case to answer for discreditable conduct and abuse of authority, breaches which, if proven in a disciplinary hearing, would amount to gross misconduct as they would justify dismissal.

However, as Sir Norman left the police service in October 2012 he cannot face a disciplinary hearing in which the evidence could be tested. Instead the IPCC is publishing its findings for the public to judge.