Blunkett backs plan to help bereaved in Hillsborough-style disasters

Plans for better support for people bereaved in incidents like the Hillsborough disaster have been supported by Lord Blunkett.

Sunday, 31st January 2016, 6:10 am
David Blunkett

The former Sheffield MP and ex-Home Secretary has lent his backing to a proposal for an independent public advocate to help the families of those killed in major incidents such as Hillsborough and the Lockerbie bombing.

A bill has been put forward in the House of Lords by Labour former justice minister Lord Wills.

Lord Blunkett said the proposal was an ‘excellent idea’ that would help people ‘get to the truth’ more quickly. He said an advocate would assist the bereaved in being able to articulate their ‘hurt’ and help identify what had gone wrong, so others did not have to suffer in the future.

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The Hillsborough disaster claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool supporters on April 15, 1989 with the fatal injuries inflicted from a crush on the Leppings Lane terrace at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground. Lord Wills said the Bill arose from his ‘complicated and difficult’ experience as a minister in devising the Hillsborough independent panel to look into the stadium disaster.

He said: “I want to pay tribute to the families bereaved in the disaster in 1989 who have campaigned for so long and with such dignity until at last they have begun to see the results of their campaign for justice.”

New inquests into the disaster are continuing.