MP’s support for ‘Hillsborough Law’ calls
THE Prime Minister must support a Hillsborough Law to create “a lasting legacy” to the families of the 96 victims, Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson has said.
Mr Esterson, who is the Shadow Business and International Trade Minister, has signed a letter with other Labour MPs, calling on the Government to change the law to prevent others having to go through what the Hillsborough families suffered for more than 27 years.
Eighteen of the victims came from the borough of Sefton – the area with the highest number of victims of the disaster – and are remembered on a special Hillsborough memorial outside Crosby Civic Hall, in Waterloo.
In the letter, Labour MPs write: “We are writing to urge you to support ‘Hillsborough Law’ (The Public Authorities (Accountability) Bill 2017).
“After the conclusion of the recent Hillsborough Inquest, in April, 2016, the families called for a lasting legacy to prevent other families having to go through what they suffered for more than 27 years.
“The Bill codifies duties on public authorities and officials, and private entities that are public-facing, such as owners of sports stadia, shopping malls or social housing, to act in the public interest and with candour.
“If enacted, the law would require that officials would have to come clean about wrong-doing and failures and cooperate pro-actively with investigations, inquiries and inquests.
“The draft law provides victims and their families with a legal ‘toolbox’ to enforce such transparency, and new criminal offences would apply to senior managers who have wilfully failed to comply or covered up institutional and individual failures. The law requires institutions to have ethical policies and it would empower ordinary officials to require their organisations and managers to be transparent.
“The second part of the Bill provides for parity of provision for victims with the public authorities involved in inquests and inquiries.”
Speaking about Labour’s call on the Prime Minister, Mr Esterson said: “The incredible bravery of the Hillsborough families and their quest for truth and justice lasting 27 years, making it the longest case in UK legal history, will hopefully mark a watershed moment for the country.
“But events more recently, such as the Grenfell Tower disaster and the search for the truth by those affected, serve to remind us why the Hillsborough Law is so important to so many. The Prime Minister said she wanted to tackle burning injustices when she arrived in Downing Street.
“She now needs to match her rhetoric through helping make the Hillsborough Law a reality.”
Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson, left, praised the Hillsborough families’ 27-year battle for Truth and Justice, above, as he backed the call for a Hillsborough Law which would ensure that no-one involved in such a major tragedy should ever have to face such an ordeal again
Flashback to the horrors of the Hillsborough stadium disaster, in Sheffield, in April, 1989