Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks from the Hillsborough Family Support Group said they were "delighted" the Attorney General had announced he will apply to the High Court to quash the original inquest verdicts.
They said it was important that they had the same legal support afforded to the police officers, and they want the inquest to be held in Liverpool.
The Attorney General will apply to the High Court to open fresh inquests into the deaths of those killed in the Hillsborough tragedy.Read the full story ›
If the application for a new inquest into the deaths of those killed in the Hillsborough tragedy is accepted then the court and the coroner will decide where the new inquest should take place, the Attorney General said today.
Labour MP Angela Smith said the new hearings "should definitely not be held in Sheffield" where the last inquest was heard. Pat Joynes, whose son was among those killed, agreed:
My opinion, and I think most families' opinion, would be for Liverpool because years ago we had to get over to Sheffield nearly every day for weeks after weeks on end, and it's just too much for us now, we are all getting older, the mums and dads.
Pat Joynes, the mother of Nicholas Joynes killed in the Hillsborough tragedy, said she was "highly delighted" by the announcement of the Attorney General. She said the families want to see the original verdicts quashed:
"We want the accidental death verdicts quashed so we can get manslaughter verdicts. I have spoken to different families over the weekend, that seems to be the opinion and it is what I would want as well - corporate manslaughter and manslaughter verdicts."
"Ninety-six people can't die and hundreds injured without someone being held responsible. [...]It's another milestone yes. The truth, in my opinion, is finally coming out, I'm very pleased."
Home Secretary Theresa May will lead a debate on the Hillsborough inquiry panel's report in the House of Commons next week, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve told MPs.
The Attorney General has announced he will ask the High Court to examine the original inquest verdicts into Hillsborough, saying he feels there is sufficient evidence for all 96 of them to be quashed.
He warned the process to get the original inquests overturned and new inquests to be made will take time. Here is the legal process:
- The Attorney General will lodge papers to the High Court, which he warned he is not ready to do at this time, as he wants to gather more evidence from the families
- The High Court will then consider the papers, which will take time depending on the evidence, and set a date for an oral hearing
- The Attorney General will be represented at the oral hearing
- The High Court will make their announcement - either quashing them or upholding the original verdicts
- If the original verdicts are squashed then the High Court will appoint a coroner who will begin the job of setting up new inquests
Liverpool MP Steve Rotheram said today's call by the Attorney General to apply to the High Court for a fresh inquest into the Hillsborough deaths marked "one of the biggest steps forward in the fight for justice for the families in 23 years".
The undeniable fact is that the original inquest was unsound and this application, if successful, will mean that evidence will be able to be heard after the 3.15pm cut off imposed by the original Coroner in the 1989 inquests.
For the first time in over two decades, all the evidence can now be reviewed into the disaster and potentially a new verdict recorded on the death certificates of the deceased.
At long last, the full horror of Hillsborough will be on the public record alongside the names of the people and the organisations that are accountable for what happened
The Attorney General says an application for new inquests at Hillsborough must be made. He will apply for all 96 to be considered again.
He said he cant give timeframe on new inquests. He will apply to the court. But there will be new inquests. MPs are thanking him in Chamber.
Attorney General suggests any criminal proceedings could affect the timings of the inquests.
The Attorney General has paved the way for a fresh inquest to be held into the deaths of 96 fans in the Hillsborough disaster 23 years ago. Dominic Grieve QC said he will apply to the High Court to have the verdicts of the original hearing quashed so a new one can be held. He said:
Following the publication of the Hillsborough Panel Report I have been considering whether to apply to the High Court for an order quashing the original inquests and ordering new inquests to be held.
My current view is that I will apply to have every one of those 96 inquests quashed. I believe that these deaths, arising as they do from a common chain of events, should all be considered afresh.
However, before reaching any final view on the scope of the application, I want to give the families affected the opportunity to make any representations in respect of the family member or members they lost. I will therefore be in contact with each family seeking views.
The Attorney General Dominic Grieve said he will apply to the High Court for fresh inquests to be made into the deaths of those killed in Hillsborough. He said he needs time to consider the evidence, but will move as quickly as possible:
I am convinced that there is a need for fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 people at Hillsborough.