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.”