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Summary

  1. South Yorkshire Police's chief constable suspended over Hillsborough
  2. The region's police and crime commissioner says he had no choice because of "erosion of trust"
  3. The disaster's 96 victims are remembered at a vigil in Liverpool
  4. Home Secretary Theresa May praises families for their "courage, determination and resolve"
  5. She hinted that inquiries into possible criminal behaviour will be completed by the end of 2016
  6. Updates on Wednesday 27 April

Live Reporting

By Bronwyn Jones

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

Please go to the BBC News homepage for the latest developments.  Merseyside Live will return from 08:00 BST on Thursday - until then, goodnight and thanks for joining us on another momentous day.

Hillsborough vigil comes to an end

We will conclude today's Hillsborough live page with a reminder of the news that South Yorkshire's chief constable David Crompton has been suspended.

The force's Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said there had been an "erosion of trust" and that he had had no choice but to suspend the chief constable.

Hillsborough vigil comes to a close

The Master of Ceremonies, BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips, closes the vigil, telling people they have the opportunity to lay tributes at the steps of St George's Hall until the end of the week.

Roger Phillips
BBC

Danny Gordon hopes 'lessons have been learned' from Hillsborough disaster

Earlier Danny Gordon, the brother of the late Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams,  thanked the witnesses who "had the courage to give evidence on our behalf" at the inquests, which concluded on Tuesday.

Danny Gordon
BBC

Mr Gordon, whose 15-year-old nephew Kevin Williams died in the 1989 disaster, said: "If lives are saved by the lessons learned from these inquests, we can take small comfort in knowing our loved ones were not taken from us in vain."

You'll Never Walk Alone sung by thousands

Liverpool FC's anthem You'll Never Walk Alone - which came to symbolise the families' long campaign for justice - is performed by a large choir as the crowd gradually, and with increasing gusto, join in.

As it ends, cries of "Justice for the 96" bring the vigil to a close.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson's closing remarks

"Twenty-seven years ago this city was flooded in tears of grief. Now it is flooded with a different type of tears - tears of relief for the 96 innocents.

"The 96 and their families will never be forgotten - the eternal flame will always burn brightly in our hearts and memories."

Huge cheers for Margaret Aspinall

Charlotte Hennessy, who lost her father at Hillsborough, addresses crowd

Charlotte Hennessy, whose father James died at Hillsborough, was next to address the huge crowd.

Charlotte Hennessy
BBC

Sheila Coleman of the of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, then speaks.

Watch footage of the Hillsborough vigil

Thousands gathered outside St George's Hall in Liverpool

'Let's hope this is only the beginning', says Hillsborough campaigner

Margaret Aspinall welcomed the suspension of South Yorkshire's Chief Constable and warned others who were singled out for blame in yesterday's conclusions to the inquests.

"Let's hope that's only the beginning of what's going to happen - we have had 27 years of sleepness nights - let's hope you are getting yours now."

Her message is cheered loudly by the crowd.

Margaret Aspinall 'proud to be a Scouser'

Hillsborough justice campaigner Margaret Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James in the disaster, said she is proud of Merseysiders for their support and is "proud to be a Scouser".

Margaret Aspinall
Getty Images

"We've done this together" she told the crowd. "Because we're Merseysiders and we have shown this country how you change a system that's so morally wrong - it took the Scousers yet again".

The crowd cheered as she thanked the people of Liverpool, saying "I'm proud to be amongst every one of you".

Margaret Aspinall
BBC

Hillsborough vigil - poem for Liverpool read

Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray reads a poem called Liverpool by Carol Ann Duffy:

"The Cathedral bell, tolled, could never tell;

nor the Liver Birds, mute in their stone spell;

nor the Mersey, though seagulls wailed, cursed, overhead,

in no language for the slandered dead...

not the raw, red throat of the Kop, keening,or the cops' words, censored of meaning;

not the clock, slow handclapping the coroner's deadline,

or the memo to Thatcher, or the tabloid headline...

but fathers told of their daughters; the names of sons

on the lips of their mothers like prayers; lost ones

honoured for bitter years by orphan, cousin, wife -

not a matter of football, but of life.

Over this great city, light after long dark;

Truth, the sweet silver song of the lark."  

'Pen portraits' of Hillsborough 96

Personal tributes by Hillsborough victims families

Steve Rotheram closes the reading of the 96 Names

The crowd was silent as Labour MP Andy Burnham began the reading of the 96 names, followed other MPs from Merseyside including Maria Eagle, StephenTwigg and finally Steve Rotheram.

Names of the 96 being read out by Merseyside MPs

Merseyside MPs are about to read out the names of all 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Andy Burnham
BBC

Bishop 'proud' of those who carried on the fight

Before Abide With Me was sung, Roman Catholic Archishop Malcolm McMahon said the people of Liverpool "came together to seek the truth" and the "defiance of the families of the 96" has "cemented the bonds of communities" in Liverpool.

Bishop Malcolm McMahon
BBC

"Our task now is to remain in the truth. As we call to account those responsible for their actions we must not be vengeful," he said.

He then prayed, asking that those lost at Hillsborough may be with God in a "place of peace and light."

Abide With Me performed

Abide With Me - the traditional anthem of the FA Cup final at Wembley and a hymn widely associated with the Hillsborough families' campaign for justice is performed by soloist Danielle Thomas.

Liverpool FC flags flutter in the early evening air as aerial pictures reveal thousands of people gathered around St George's Hall in Liverpool city centre.

Liverpool FC player and manager Kenny Dalglish - who was manager on the day of the Hillsborough disaster - makes his way to the stage to loud cheers and reads - to absolute silence - the prayer "Footprints".

Dean of Liverpool pays tribute to Hillsborough families

The Dean of Liverpool, Pete Wilcox, reads a statement on behalf of the Bishop of Liverpool who could not be present, saying he pays tribute to the Hillsborough families and those "who have stood for truth and justice".

It remains a story of "loss, grief and pain" and that continues but now "we really can walk on with hope in our hearts and with new confidence".  

Pete Wilcox
BBC

He then led the crowd in prayer.

Roses laid at St George's steps

Representatives from LFC and EFC
BBC
Candles
BBC

They were laid there by 96 youngsters from the city, including some from both Liverpool and Everton.

Mayor Joe Anderson: Establishment plotted cover-up

The crowd applauds as Mayor Joe Anderson says the "establishment plotted the biggest cover-up in British history".

Joe Anderson
BBC

He said "the second Hillsborough tragedy was "a campaign of lies and smears and deceit against our fans and the city".

Rupert Murdoch's newspapers criticised by Mayor Anderson

There are loud boos as Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson says Rupert Murdoch's "lackeys [at The Sun and The Times] didn't even think it important enough" to put the story on the front page today.

He also criticises the former editor of The Sun, Kelvin Mackenzie, who was behind the paper's infamous "The Truth" headline in the wake of the 1989 disaster.

"We're not self pity city - we are self gritty city... something we're proud of," Mr Anderson said. "Now we await justice and accountability."

'Truth has triumphed, says Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson

Mayor Joe Anderson thanks everybody for gathering in solidarity for the Hillsborough families. He said the "tenacious" families fought for the values of truth and justice for 27 years and were "inspirational".

"Your loved ones died as a result of the incompetence of those in charge", he said, adding that they were then smeared by those in charge.

"The truth has now triumphed... the wall of lies was finally torn down yesterday.  This was the biggest cover-up in British legal history.

"As people lay dying on the pitch the lies began."

Roses placed in front of 96 lanterns

As the Beatles' In My Life plays, 96 young people from Liverpool FC's Academy, Everton FC's Academy and Everton Free School process out with red roses, and place them in front of the 96 lanterns on the steps of St George's Hall.

Crowd applaud and sing 'justice for the 96'

The crowd are singing 'Justice for the 96' as people applaud the families as they are led out by Mayor Joe Anderson.

families
BBC

'We gather to remember those who lost their lives and support their families'

"We're here to show solidarity and to mark the latest step in the campaign", says Roger Phillips, whose microphone is happily now working loud and clear.

The families make their way towards him, as loud applause rings around.

Cries of "Justice for the 96" grow louder and louder

'Mics not working' at Hillsborough vigil... good-natured crowd amused

We're having a few technical problems here - a couple of mics given to Roger Phillips aren't working... much to the amusement of the large crowd

Crowds growing at vigil

The venue opposite Lime Street railway station is filling up for the vigil...

Vigil crowds
BBC

Hillsborough vigil

BBC Radio Merside presenter Roger Phillips is about to welcome people to the special vigil outside St George's Hall. He will introduce the families as well as Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson

Roger Philips
bb

The scene at St George's Hall

Thousands gather for Hillsborough vigil

Thousandsof people have gathered in Liverpool to attend a vigil for the 96 who died at Hillsborough.

Crowds in Liverpool city centre
BBC

Members of their families have joined civic leaders outside St George's Hall, where the names and ages of the victims will be read out and displayed on large screens.

A choir will perform You'll Never Walk Alone - Liverpool FC's anthem which has become synonymous with the familes' campaign for justice.

Families' solicitors welcome police chief's suspension

"We welcome the suspension of David Crompton, the chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, and we hope and expect that his conduct will be subject to the rigorous and impartial scrutiny which has so long been denied to the families."

Broudie Jackson Canter solicitors, which represents 22 of the bereaved families

Today's key Hillsborough developments

  • South Yorkshire Police's chief constable David Crompton is suspended following calls by some Hillsborough families and Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham 
  • Home Secretary Theresa May praised families for their "courage, determination and resolve" and suggested inquiries into possible criminal behaviour will be completed by the end of 2016
  • The Sun and The Times newspapers were criticised for not covering Hillsborough on their front pages - the Times later apologised
  • Crowds gathering outside St George's Hall in Liverpool ready for a vigil at 17:45 to remember the disaster's 96 victims

Statement on the suspension of SYP Chief Constable David Crompton

Latest on the suspension of South Yorkshire's chief constable

South Yorkshire's Chief Constable David Crompton admitted on Tuesday that his force's policing at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster had been "catastrophically wrong" and "unequivocally" accepted the jury's conclusions that the 96 victims had been unlawfully killed.

South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said he had no choice but to suspend the chief constable "based on the erosion of public trust and confidence".

"I have reached this decision with a heavy heart following discussions with David," he said.

Mr Crompton had been due to retire in November.

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham had called for police chief's resignation

Earlier, Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham - whose speech was applauded by MPs - accused South Yorkshire Police of making "disgusting slurs" about Liverpool fans during the inquests.

He called for Chief Constable David Crompton's resignation. 

What kind of country, he asked, leaves relatives of the dead in a disaster "begging for the reputation" of their loved ones nearly 30 years later?

Travel: Delays expected in Liverpool for Hillsborough event

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The event begins at 17:45 at St George's plateau, opposite Liverpool's main Lime Street station.

Labour and some Hillsborough relatives called for police chief's axeing

Labour joined some of the relatives in calling for Mr Crompton to go - saying he had also allowed lawyers for the force to criticise the fans during the inquests.

Chief Constable will be on full pay during suspension - PCC

South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton will be on full pay while he is suspended, added Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings.