Date set for Hillsborough debate

Well over 100,000 people signed an online petition calling for the
release of all papers associated with the tragedy in 1989 in which
96 people died. In July the Information Commissioner Christopher
Graham ruled some files should be released, ahead of the usual
30-year rule. However, the Government has appealed that decision as
it wants the documents to be released to the Hillsborough
Independent Panel before being made public. As a result of the
success of the petition Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram made an
emotional appeal to the Backbench Business Committee today as he
presented an application for a parliamentary debate. Having
received the support of 96 MPs the matter will now be discussed in
the House of Commons on October 17. “This is an issue that will not
go away until there is justice for the 96,” Rotheram told the
committee. “Within two weeks the e-petition had acquired well over
the 100,000 signatures required. The campaign spread far and wide.
“People from all over this country and people of all different
football and political persuasions, came together and said,
finally, after 22 years, enough is enough.” The Hillsborough
Justice Campaign (HJC) welcomed the decision. “We would like to
thank those MPs who turned up in support of the recent e-petition.
They have made the right decision in moving this forward to be
debated in the House,” said HJC chairman Kenny Derbyshire.
“However, we would like to thank those people who made this
possible. “This turn of events would not be occurring were it not
for the overwhelming support of the general public who signed the
e-petition, which resulted in more than 100,000 signatures in less
than a week. “They alone should take credit for this; a great
example of people power succeeding. “Whilst pleased with today’s
outcome, the bereaved families of the HJC point out that they still
strongly oppose the Government’s decision to appeal the
Commissioner’s ruling and request again that the Government
withdraw the appeal. “The families of the Hillsborough Justice
Campaign want the minutes of the cabinet meeting held under
Margaret Thatcher to be released (without redaction) in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act and as deemed by the
Information Commissioner to be in the ‘public interest’. “The
families can see no logical reason why this should be at variance
with the work of the Hillsborough Panel.”