October date is set for Hillsborough disaster debate in Commons

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A debate on whether there should be full disclosure of documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people died will be heard by MPs next month.

More than 100,000 people signed an online petition calling for the release of all papers associated with the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium in 1989.

In July, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham ruled some files should be released, ahead of the usual 30-year rule.

However, the Government has appealed that decision as it wants the documents to be released to the Hillsborough Independent Panel before being made public. As a result of the success of the petition Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram made an emotional appeal to the Backbench Business Committee yesterday as he presented an application for a parliamentary debate.

Having received the support of 96 MPs the matter will now be discussed in the Commons on October 17. “This is an issue that will not go away until there is justice for the 96,” said Rotheram told the committee. “Within two weeks the petition had acquired well over the 100,000 signatures required. People from all over this country and people of all different football and political persuasions, came together and said, finally, after 22 years, enough is enough.”

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign welcomed the decision. “We thank those MPs who turned up in support of the recent e-petition. They have made the right decision in moving this forward to be debated” said HJC chairman Kenny Derbyshire. “We would like to thank those people who made this possible.”