Talking Politics: Families’ long road to justice over Hillsborough

Hillsborough Disaster: The families have suffered 23 years of torture

Hillsborough Disaster: The families have suffered 23 years of torture

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Just over 23 years ago, on a Saturday April afternoon in South Yorkshire, the nation watched in horror as the Hillsborough tragedy unfolded.

It was a day that will never be forgotten. For the families of the 96 who died the subsequent years must have been torture. I listened to the Prime Minister’s statement, following the report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, last week in stunned astonishment. You could have heard a pin drop in the House of Commons.

We learnt of a systematic cover up by the establishment on a scale that was unimaginable. This has not, I am sure, provided any closure for the relatives of the 96. That will come when justice happens. For that there needs to be people and institutions held to account. It wasn’t just on the day of the tragedy that Liverpool fans and their relatives were let down, but for the following two and a half decades.

Last week, at last, began the long journey to provide not just answers, but the truth.

We should pay tribute to the commitment and dignity of the campaign for justice.

Now the organised cover-up should be unravelled systematically. What happened on that terrible day on 15 April 1989 was finally unmasked.

The long road to justice didn’t end last week. It began.