Campaigners force new debate on disaster files

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THE release of all Government papers on the Hillsborough disaster will be debated in Parliament next month after around 140,000 people signed an online petition calling for the documents to be made public.

It will be the second debate triggered by e-petitions which attract more than 100,000 signatories - a new move introduced by Prime Minister David Cameron to give the general public the chance to influence what issues MPs discuss.

Fans behind the petition hope the debate in London on October 17 will lead to all Government files on the football disaster at Hillsborough Stadium being released to the independent panel which is sifting through all the paperwork held on the tragedy, as part of the public disclosure of all archived material.

Relatives of the 96 football fans who were killed in the crush at Hillsborough when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final in April 1989 believe that the full truth of what exactly happened and what went wrong has never emerged.

They believe that files which have so far never been made public could provide them with vital answers.

Minutes of Cabinet meetings held when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was in power are among the documents they want to see.

Liverpool MP Steve Rotheram, who represents Walton, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to articulate the case for not just the Hillsborough families, but also for tens of thousands of decent people across the country who have supported them.”

He condemned the ‘wall of officialdom’ which has surrounded the aftermath of the tragedy and which he said undermined efforts to discover the truth.