NEW inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster are one step closer to being opened.
Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC has announced that he is to apply to the High Court to have the verdicts of the original hearing quashed so that new ones can be held.
The move comes after a damning report into the disaster laid bare a police cover-up which attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy away from South Yorkshire Police to the victims.
Liverpool fans were crushed to death on the terraces at Hillsborough football stadium, when their team played Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup semi final in April 1989.
Mr Grieve said: “My consideration of the evidence is far from complete but, given the anxiety further delay may cause the families affected by the Hillsborough disaster, I have decided to take an exceptional course and state at this stage that, on the basis of what I have already seen, I have determined that I must make an application to the court.
“In doing so, I should make it clear that further work will need to be done before any application can be made.
“In particular, there was not one inquest but 96.
“My current view is that I will apply to have every one of those 96 inquests quashed.
“I believe that these deaths, arising as they do from a common chain of events, should all be considered afresh.
“However, before reaching any final view on the scope of the application, I want to give the families affected the opportunity to make any representations in respect of the family member or members they lost.
“I will therefore be in contact with each family seeking views.”