May gives campaigners hope
Home Secretary Theresa May's pledge in a House of Commons debate on Monday to allow all documents, including Cabinet papers, to be made available to the independent panel looking into the tragedy means families are a step closer to discovering the truth about the 1989 disaster which claimed the lives of 96 people. However, there are many more issues to be covered in the coming months and Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, believes it is time for people to start accepting responsibility. "We have always said we never wanted public hangings. We wouldn't want that but what we do want is accountability," she said. "Apologies will never bring back the 96 but to get the truth for them we have to be their voices. "Let us clear the name of the 96. We have to do it because maybe then we can have peace and when it all comes out we can move on with our lives. "The families have never been able to get on with a normal life because of the injustice." Campaigners have fought long and hard to correct many inaccuracies about the behaviour and motives of fans at the FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield. And Aspinall said after 22 years the full story of what happened had to finally come out. "There are more issues regarding Hillsborough than what was mentioned in the House of Commons there were so many things that went wrong," she added. "It is one of the biggest injustices in the country. "I have said that before and when I did I received a letter from someone saying 'What about Lockerbie?' (the terrorist attack on a Pan Am plane over Scotland in 1988). "Well, with Lockerbie they got their culprit and he was locked up. We didn't get any justice. No-one has been made accountable. "People out there perceived us as whingeing Scousers, never satisfied. "Most people will have listened to that debate last night and realised that maybe that was not really the case. "We were fighting the establishment and that is what made it so hard." The Hillsborough Justice Campaign also welcomed the decisions taken in the House of Commons last night but they also want a change to the consultation process. All the relevant documents will be handed over to the independent panel set up to review the papers for public release and it is their responsibility to deal with the vast amount of information they will receive. "Obviously it was good to hear from the Government that they will release the papers," said Sheila Coleman, spokeswoman for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. "But we would be happier with them being released into the public domain rather than via the panel. "I feel the Government has just abrogated their responsibilities as they have passed it on to another group of people. "We feel the papers are in the public interest and we need to make sure the panel treats all survivors and families equally and meets with them on an equal basis. "The panel has to change its terms of reference and commit itself to full disclosure. "Survivors were equally affected and the evidence also relates to them. "We speak for families who have a vested interest in seeing the documents as they refer to their lived experience at Hillsborough."