Liverpool Echo-backed campaign wins support of Sir Keir Starmer

A campaign backed by the Liverpool Echo to introduce a ‘Hillsborough Law’ to ensure bereaved families can properly take part in inquests has moved a step forward.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer committed to introducing the law during his party’s annual conference which was held in Liverpool.

The Echo has stood by the families of the 97 Liverpool football fans who died as a result of the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989 ever since the tragedy unfolded.

Families fought a 27-year campaign to prove their relatives and the supporters around them were not to blame for what happened and to overturn the inquest that was held into the deaths.

The original verdicts were quashed following the 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel report, and new hearings were ordered.

In 2016, a jury concluded that the victims were unlawfully killed and found the supporters did not contribute to their deaths.

Campaigners, including the families and survivors of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, have been calling for the creation of new laws and regulations that will help to prevent future injustices where there is state involvement. The Hillsborough Law Campaign is a broad coalition of bereaved families and victims of public disasters, campaigners and politicians.

Ahead of the party conference, Sir Keir Starmer said: “Labour stands unequivocally with the Hillsborough families. We’ve repeatedly called for the Hillsborough Law and making it reality would be a priority of my Labour government.

“As Director of Public Prosecutions, I spoke with the Hillsborough families, before the Independent panel would decide whether criminal trials or an inquest should come first. Their raw pain was matched by their inspirational courage. Nobody should ever have to endure what they’ve been through.

“In July this year I visited the Hillsborough memorial and met with campaigner Margaret Aspinall, whose son James was amongst the victims of the tragedy. For Margaret, for James, and the 96 other lives tragically lost, we will change the law to stop this happening again.”

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