Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham pub bombings: Families told about legal aid 'by end of month'

A composite picture of the victims
Image caption Twenty-one people were killed in the Birmingham pub bombings. Photographs of three of the victims have never been released

Relatives of the Birmingham pub bombing victims say they will find out if they are to get legal aid by the end of the month.

The Home Office is looking at a funding request for the families ahead of inquests into the 21 deaths.

At a meeting with Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Monday, the families learned no immediate decision was to be made but that they would be told in September.

Campaigner Julie Hambleton said she was "disappointed and frustrated".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was killed in the bombings, is a prominent member of campaign group Justice 4 the 21

Ms Hambleton, whose sister Maxine died in the 1974 atrocity, said although Ms Rudd listened to what relatives had to say, she still felt "in limbo".

The relatives want their lawyers, who have so far worked for free, to be paid out of public funds, the same as police and other agencies who will be in involved in the inquests.

In June, Birmingham's senior coroner ruled there was evidence that still needed to be heard and gave the go-ahead for fresh inquests.

A pre-inquests review is due to be held next month, with a full hearing expected next year.

Ahead of Monday's meeting, two local Labour MPs - Jess Phillips, for Yardley, and Steve McCabe, for Selly Oak - urged the government to agree funding for relatives.

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