WARRINGTON South MP Andy Carter has called for changes in the law after victims of the Hillsborough disaster were “woefully let down” by failings in the legal system..
Speaking in the House of Commons Mr Carter said: “The 96 Liverpool fans who died at the Hillsborough disaster, which include 4 from Warrington, along with their families, were woefully let down by a number of public bodies and the Government has rightly apologised for the failings.
“Following the collapse of legal proceedings in the court last week, two retired police officers and an ex-solicitor accused of altering police statements after the Hillsborough disaster were acquitted.
“I have asked the Lord Chancellor to look at the law in relation to those who hold public office and to make changes necessary so that such failings cannot be allowed to happen again.”
Four people from Warrington were among the 96 who lost their lives at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Sheffield stadium on April 15, 1989.
They were 19-year-old Ian ‘Ronnie’ Whelan, of Duckworth Grove, Padgate, David Benson, aged 22, of Hall Nook, Penketh, 19-year-old Colin Ashcroft, of Strawberry Close, Locking Stumps, and Eric Hughes, aged 42, of Barmouth Close, Callands.
Justice secretary Robert Buckland responded taht the government would “always consider opportunities to review the law.”
He said the focus was now on publishing the government’s overarching response to the report after having further consulted with all the families.
“We recognise the need for those in public office to act responsibly and to discharge their duties with both honesty and integrity,” he added.
“As we continue to consider the judgment in the latest Hillsborough trial and its implications, we will of course always consider opportunities to review the law and how it operates.”
Mr Justice William Davis had earlier ruled that retired Ch Supt Donald Denton, retired Det Ch Insp Alan Foster and former solicitor Peter Metcalf had no case to answer after they went on trial for perverting the course of justice.
The statements they were accused of changing had been prepared for a public inquiry, not a court of law, so it was not a “course of public justice” which could be perverted, he ruled.
In April, South Yorkshire and West Midlands police forces agreed to pay damages to more than 600 people over a cover-up that followed the Hillsborough disaster, following a civil claim.