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Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson says ongoing Hillsborough cover up must be exposed if the 96 are ever to get justice


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said there is an ongoing cover up around the Hillsborough disaster that needs to be exposed if the 96 are ever to get justice.

Labour MPs today called on the Home Secretary to ensure that the inquests into the deaths of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy start no later than March 31 and they also called on the government to ensure all documentation is released ahead of the new inquests.

Speaking in the House of Commons after Home Secretary Theresa May's statement updating MPs on the investigation into the disaster, Bill Esterson said there was "an ongoing reluctance to get to the truth".

Bill said: "Twenty-five years is too long for this cover-up to be exposed, but still it appears to be going on. The families have been living with this for a quarter of a century. They have fought long and hard for the truth. And no matter where they turned, they did not get anywhere enough support in getting to the truth or the justice that their families and the victims deserved.

"We have now heard that witness reports were doctored, that witnesses experienced intimidation and that evidence was withheld. We have heard that there are now 2,500 police notebooks that have surfaced and that there are retired police officers who are still refusing to give evidence.

"How much longer is this going to be allowed to go on?

"It is crucial that all the evidence is submitted, made public and thoroughly investigated.

"And we need reassurances that families were not subjected to hostile surveillance by the security services. We know that there was a concerted cover-up and a black propaganda campaign to smear families and fans.

"We need the whole truth and we need justice. This cover up has to come to an end, but it appears to me as though it still hasn't."

Bill said the families and campaigners have waited for far too long for justice.

Bill said: "The families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster have waited for far too long for the truth and for justice. We cannot allow that wait to go on any longer.

"The new inquests must start no later than March 31 and the Independent Police Complaints Commission must have all the resources needed to make sure they can gather all of the evidence ahead of the inquests.

"This includes all of the outstanding documentation and evidence which has yet to be made public. And that is why the Home Secretary must issue a nationwide directive to all police forces to hand over any evidence relating to Hillsborough. Any information they hold on the families of Hillsborough victims must be released to the IPCC immediately.

"And the Home Secretary must ensure that the investigations remain adequately resourced so we can finally get to the bottom of what happened, what went so badly wrong on the day and what went so badly wrong in the weeks, months and years that followed in which there was a clearly illegal programme of smears and deceit from the authorities."

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