England

Hillsborough disaster: MPs sign motion over Sun sources

Liverpool fan pays his respects to those who died in the Hillsborough disaster
Image caption Liverpool fans have maintained campaigns since the disaster

Forty-four MPs have signed a Commons motion calling on The Sun to release all records relating to its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died as a result of the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium on 15 April 1989.

The Sun's coverage in the aftermath of the disaster claimed Liverpool fans had stolen from the dead and urinated on victims. It later apologised.

The MPs' motion follows an e-petition, which has attracted 25,000 signatures.

The motion supports the petition and calls on the editor at the time, Kelvin MacKenzie, to make a "full and unreserved apology" for the story headlined "The Truth" on 19 April 1989.

It also called on "all media outlets to refuse to engage him professionally" until he has apologised.

The publication of the story led to a widespread boycott of the newspaper in Liverpool.

'Disgraceful comments'

An independent inquiry into the tragedy, led by Lord Chief Justice Taylor, established that the main cause was a failure of police crowd control.

Meanwhile, the leader of the House of Commons has condemned a judge who called on the Hillsborough families to show more "dignity".

Sir Oliver Popplewell - who chaired the inquiry into the 1985 Bradford City stadium fire which claimed the lives of 56 fans - said Hillsborough relatives should "move on" from the tragedy.

Speaking in the Commons, Maria Eagle MP said: "Following the disgraceful comments yesterday of Sir Oliver Popplewell, who accused the families of harbouring conspiracy theories, will he ask the home secretary to join members of these benches in unreservedly condemning these crass and insensitive comments."

Sir George responded to the Labour MP for Garston and Halewood by saying: "I would condemn any insensitive comments, particularly at this moment in time.

"I think the whole House is united in urging everyone to work constructively with the independent panel so the public can finally learn the truth."

A Commons debate was held on Monday evening following a previous e-petition calling for the government to disclose all documents relating to the disaster and its aftermath.

It attracted 140,000 signatures and the Commons backbench committee agreed a debate should be held.

During the debate, Home Secretary Theresa May re-affirmed the government's position that all documents - including cabinet papers - would be released, via the independent panel. Cabinet papers are usually subject to a 30-year rule.

The independent panel is expected to report next year.

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