Hillsborough: Former Sheffield Hallam MP Sir Irvine Patnick apologises

Tory: Sir Irvine Patnick receiving his knighthood at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Martin Keene/PA Wire.
Tory: Sir Irvine Patnick receiving his knighthood at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Martin Keene/PA Wire.
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A FORMER Sheffield Hallam MP who smeared Liverpool football fans in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster apologised last night.

Tory Sir Irvine Patnick said he was ‘deeply and sincerely sorry’ for spreading lies and vilifying victims of the tragedy.

But calls remained for the former businessman to be stripped of his knighthood in the wake of the scandal.

Ninety-six supporters died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium during an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

Sir Irvine has been revealed to be one source for a national newspaper report which, falsely, blamed drunk and aggressive fans for the tragedy.

South Yorkshire Police has admitted it falsified accounts of that day.

In a statement released through the Conservative Party last night, the 82-year-old said: “I would like to put on the record how appalled and shocked I was to discover the extent of the deceit and cover-up surrounding these events.

“It is now clear the information I received from some police officers at the time was wholly inaccurate, misleading and plain wrong.

“However, I totally accept responsibility for passing such information on without asking further questions.

“So, many years after this tragic event, I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the part I played in adding to the pain and suffering of the victims’ families.”

The apology came just hours after representatives at his home on Abbeydale Road South told The Star he would not be commenting.

He refused to come to the door when reporters called on him.

Demands for the stripping of his title - handed to him in 1980 for services to politics and business - have been led by John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw.

He said: “The shameful and disgusting behaviour of Sir Irvine Patnick is a significant feature in the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report and his knighthood should be removed immediately.

“David Cameron should now do the right thing and take the necessary steps to do this.”

A Downing Street spokesman said the matter would be decided by the independent Forfeiture Committee.