Hillsborough report: key points

Twenty three years after the disaster, David Cameron has made a government apology to the families of the Hillsborough victims.

Describing the findings of the report as "deeply distressing", Mr Cameron said "on behalf of the government, and indeed of our country, I am profoundly sorry".

He went on to describe the "double injustice" suffered by the families, referring to both the failures which led to the disaster, and the subsequent attempts to blame Liverpool supporters and the victims themselves.

The report is "black and white" in concluding that Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster said the prime minister, suggesting that the safety of the crowds at Hillsborough had been "compromised at every level".

Ed Miliband said it "shames us as a country" that it took 23 years to get to the truth, describing the original inquest as "hopelessly inadequate".

He went on to apologise on behalf of the previous Labour government, suggesting that all governments since the disaster had to bear some responsibility.

Describing the "monumental cover-up" revealed in today's report, Andy Burnham, who set up the Hillsborough panel, said "the full horror of Hillsborough has been revealed".

The Hillsborough Independent Panel has spent the past 18 months studying more than 400,000 pages of documents.

Here are the key points from the report:

 

  • The report found attempts by the police to cover-up police failings.
  • 164 police statements were found to have been altered with 116 negative statements about the leadership of the police being removed to push the blame for the tragedy onto the fans.
  • The report showed no government effort to conceal information.
  • The report outlined how similar near-disasters at the ground in 1981, 1987 and 1988 made the risks clear, and the disaster foreseeable.
  • New evidence showed 41 of the 96 victims "had the potential to be saved" beyond the 15.15 time of death given by the coroner.
  • It is now known that the ambulance service failed to implement their major incident plan fully.
  • A Sheffield news agency and local MP were revealed as the source for the negative media coverage about Liverpool fans (including that within The Sun). The information the sources gave came from the South Yorkshire Police.
  • The independent panel found that the Police Federation met on 19th April 1989, the day the Sun article was published. The Police Federation representative apparently confirmed then that "putting our side of the story over to the press and media" had been his priority. He also told the meeting that the Chief Constable Peter Wright had stated "the truth could not come from him", but that he had given the Police Federation a "free hand" and his support.
  • For the time it was confirmed that the police carried out checks on those who had died in order to "impugn their reputations".