House of Commons due to hold parliamentary debate on Hillsborough disaster

The House of Commons will hold a parliamentary debate on the Hillsborough disaster during its Monday session.

The debate follows the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP)’s report in September, which revealed new evidence that prompted the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, to apply to have the original verdicts from the inquests into the deaths of 96 fans quashed.

A verdict of accidental death was found after the original inquest but according to the new report, up to 41 Liverpool supporters could have been saved during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead, has stated in a column for the Liverpool Echo that he canvassed questions from Hillsborough families in his constituency to ask during the debate.

These include queries on how the government will hold accountable “those people who by their actions prevented lives from being saved” and who “orchestrated the cover-up”.

Field adds that the families are also concerned with regards to the practical difficulties of holding new inquests. He has already written to Grieve asking that they be held in Liverpool for easier attendance.

The 70-year-old will also request details concerning the identity of the organisations that could face criminal charges, and their scope.

The HIP report absolved Liverpool supporters of responsibility for the disaster and placed the blame primarily with the police, as well as other emergency services.

South Yorkshire Police has referred the actions of its officers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, while West Yorkshire Police has referred its current chief constable Norman Bettison to the same body. Bettison announced that he would retire in 2013 shortly after the HIP report was published.

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