In the House of Lords today I challenged the recent Hillsborough decision:
Even before the Hillsborough disaster on 15 April 1989 I had written to the Government questioning the safety of the ground, and with the deaths of Liverpool constituents, including a child – and permanent brain damage of another constituent – I have waited patiently along with their families to see justice – which is justice delayed and justice denied.
Reverting to the question of my noble friend Lord Carlile, presumably the DPP himself thought the perverting charge sustainable in law? Did he review the case himself, given its huge public importance?
ML will the CPS now consider prosecution for Misconduct in Public Office for at least some of the 3 acquitted men and doesn’t the Minister agree that there remains the possibility of a private prosecution for other offences?
In 2012 I wrote this:
The deaths of 96 people, and the long term trauma, was compounded by the outrageous, infamous aftermath. There was vilification, condemnation, and procrastination.
Agony was piled upon agony with the insulting and wholly fallacious attempt to smear and blame the victims. They had, it was suggested, brought the calamity of Hillsborough on themselves.
Twenty three years later, thanks to Bishop James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, and his Independent Panel’s Report, that calumny has finally been laid to rest.
For me, the most shocking aspect of the tragedy was that it could have been averted and that it had been predicted.
In the month before the match, which was played on April 15th 1989, a Liverpool fan had told me that staging the semi final at Hillsborough would be unsafe.
I wrote to the then Sports Minister, Colin Moynihan, registering my concern and this correspondence is referred to in a parliamentary reply which appears in Hansard:
“ The hon. Member wrote to me on 22 March about the arrangements at the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough on 15 April. No other representation was received. The arrangements for the match will be among the matters to be considered by Lord Justice Taylor’s inquiry.”