Panel announces date of Hillsborough families’ disclosure

The Hillsborough Independent Panel, appointed by government in January 2010 to ensure the maximum possible disclosure of documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, has this morning (Wednesday 20th June) made a statement about the conclusion of its work. It reads:

“The Hillsborough Independent Panel is now approaching the completion of its work of securing maximum possible disclosure of documents relating to the disaster and its aftermath. Disclosure, as it has been made clear, will be first to the Hillsborough families and then to the wider public.  At the same time, in line with its Terms of Reference, the Panel will publish its Report explaining how the disclosed documents add to public understanding.

“The Independent Panel has accessed and analysed documents from over 80 organisations and running to over 400,000 pages.  Earlier this year the Panel announced that because it was still receiving new material it would complete its work in the Autumn.  The Panel is on course to achieve this and announces today that the disclosure to families will take place on Wednesday 12 September in Liverpool.  

“The Panel hopes that by making this announcement it will give the bereaved families sufficient time to prepare for the disclosure.

“One of the Panel’s central objectives has been consultation with the bereaved families. At its first meeting in February 2010 it met representatives of the three family groups. The Panel has also contacted those families not affiliated to the groups.  It is the Panel’s intention that these consultations should continue.  In due course the Panel will contact each family to explain details of the disclosure arrangements.”

Commenting on the statement, Chester MP Stephen Mosley said:

“This is welcome news for all of those so sadly affected by the Hillsborough disaster.

“The panel have worked tirelessly to ensure full disclosure of all the relevant documents and I’m pleased that we now have a fixed date when the families will have access to this vital information.

“There are so many questions that remain unanswered and we are gradually getting closer to the truth of what happened on that tragic day in 1989.”

The Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, gave a written statement to the House of Commons this morning following the announcement:

“The Hillsborough Independent Panel has today announced that its disclosure to the Hillsborough bereaved families will be on Wednesday 12 September in Liverpool. The Government is fully supportive of the work of the independent Panel chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool. The Panel’s work has been detailed and complex, but the Government is pleased that it will complete its work by the Autumn as it made clear earlier this year. The Government will ensure that further progress on the work of the Panel is reported to Parliament as the Panel brings its work to a conclusion.”