Parties considering plan to force Hillsborough police to testify


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The Independent Online

The Government is to consult with Labour over proposals to compel police officers to give evidence into the alleged cover-up following the Hillsborough disaster.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, speaking ahead of today's Commons debate on the tragedy, called for emergency legislation to beef up the role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is to carry out its largest-ever investigation. A report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel claimed that 164 police statements were altered in the wake of the 1989 tragedy, 116 of them to remove or change negative comments about the policing of the match and the ensuing disaster in which 96 Liverpool football fans died. Among those likely to be questioned is the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison. He voiced his intention to retire after details of his role in presenting South Yorkshire Police's version of events emerged.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Secretary has already that said she would like to increase the powers of the IPCC, so she will invite the Opposition to discuss this further."