Hillsborough campaigners celebrate victory

By Ian Dunt

MPs will debate the release of papers concerning the Hillsborough disaster after an e-petition secured the necessary 100,000 signatures.

A sustained online campaign from prominent figures, including Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and Newcastle United player Joey Barton, saw a huge wave of support for greater transparency over the disaster.

"[The families] have suffered so much down the years. They now need the full truth," Labour MP Andy Burnham said.

"Nothing else will do. The government has to deliver that."

The information commissioner has already called for papers concerning the incident to be made public but the Cabinet Office is appealing on the basis that the Hillsborough Independent Panel should oversee disclosure.

"The e-petition has now reached 100,000 signatures and the government will notify the backbench business committee in the House of Commons in order that the committee can consider its suitability for debate when parliament returns in September," a Cabinet Office spokesperson said.

"The e-petition will remain live, and people will be able to continue adding their signatures. The government will respond to those who have signed the e-petition in due course."

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died and 766 were injured in the 1989 disaster, which resulted in all-seater stadiums and the removal of barriers at the front stands.

The catastrophe, which took place at the FA cup semi-final tie against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium in 1989, was later blamed on a "failure of police control".