Pressure mounts in Hillsborough case

Pressure is growing on both the Government and publishers News International after MPs united in their support of families of Hillsborough victims searching for justice.

Football News: Liverpool fans, Hillsborough

A motion calling calls for all documents - including Cabinet notes and briefings - to be handed to the independent panel set up by the former Labour Government to review the papers for public release was passed unopposed in the House of Commons.

Home Secretary Theresa May told the chamber: "I will do everything in my power to ensure the families and the public get the truth."

However, campaigners demanding the truth about what led to 96 people losing their lives at an FA Cup semi-final in 1989 want to ensure no stone is left unturned.

"Misdirection, obfuscation and damn lies were all used as smokescreens to deflect attention away from the guilty," said Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram.

"Institutional complacency and gross negligence, coupled with an establishment cover-up, have added to the sense that this was an orchestrated campaign to shift blame from those really responsible on to the shoulders of Liverpool fans."

Rotheram angrily attacked claims Liverpool fans had turned up late, without tickets and were drinking heavily.

He said the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's press secretary, Bernard Ingham, had made "outrageous" claims about alcohol.

"In his words, Hillsborough wouldn't have happened 'If a mob, clearly tanked up, had not tried to force their way in'."

Rotheram also tore into The Sun newspaper over its infamous 'The Truth' headline and story which alleged drunken and criminal behaviour by Liverpool fans.

"This was one of the cruellest blows," he added, branding the paper's then editor Kelvin MacKenzie a "pariah".

Labour frontbencher Andy Burnham welcomed Mrs May's commitment to "full disclosure".

He said the tragedy was one of the "biggest injustices of the 20th century" and acknowledged he had his own "private disappointments" that more was not done by Labour in office.

Mr Burnham called on News International to reveal the sources of The Sun's story.

During the emotional debate, lasting over four hours, Rotheram received messages of support from Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and defender Jamie Carragher.

The likes of Huyton-born QPR midfielder Joey Barton and Everton's Australia international Tim Cahill also backed the campaign with postings on Twitter.

"Football fans united behind a just cause, the game, the nation should be very proud of football fans," wrote Barton.

Cahill added: "Blue or Red the city of Liverpool unite when it counts always."



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