‘Shocking’ Hillsborough files to be released on Wednesday

Labour MP, Andy Burnham has warned that files to be released on Wednesday regarding the Hillsborough tragedy will be more shocking than people realise.

The MP orchestrated an independent panel to review the files over the past two years – files which include previously unseen documentation.

The 1989 disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium saw 96 Liverpool fans lose their lives and Burnham has now tellingly claimed that senior figures will have “questions to answer” upon release of the 400,000 documents tomorrow.

Mr Burnham told the Daily Mirror: “There will be many ­individuals with questions to answer on Wednesday into Thursday night.

“But the truth will have its own power.

“I know enough about Hillsborough to know a national apology from the Prime Minister is justified. I hope Mr Cameron responds in the right way.

“I get the feeling the disclosure will be more shocking than many people realise.

“The closer we get, I’m confident the full truth will be told. That is an enormous thing.”

The Labour MP continued by discussing the involvement of Dr Stefan Popper, a coroner at the inquest hearing in 1991.

Popper infamously imposed a 3:15pm cut-off point, by which time he stated all Liverpool fans would have died and no evidence would be considered thereafter.

Such an imposition resulted in little investigation into the emergency services’ late response time to the disaster, a transgression that has since been discredited by families of the victims who claimed their loved ones were alive after that time of 3:15pm.

And Mr Burnham confirmed there would be an investigation into Dr Popper’s imposition, while also expressing his surprise over Hillsborough’s failure to possess a stadium safety certificate.

“After the disclosure, my thinking will turn to a new inquest as the sheer cruelty of the 3.15pm cut-off point, when the coroner ruled that all Liverpool fans had died by this time, can’t be allowed to stand,” he added.

“I, like the families, cannot accept a verdict of accidental death.

“Any football supporter who visited Hillsborough would have said it was an unsafe football ground.

“The country will be shocked to learn how the stadium did not have a valid safety certificate.”

And the MP concluded by reassuring families of the 96 victims that there would be no tampering or editing of key documents pertinent to the case since the initial investigation.

“I think we will see everything and it will be comprehensive,” he continued. “Steps have been taken and orders passed through Parliament to ensure full disclosure takes place.

“When this process started, we promised the truth and I feel that in my heart we have done that.”

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