Hillsborough Wikipedia posts: Government launches inquiry after insults aimed at Liverpool fans traced to Government computers in Whitehall

The Government has launched an inquiry into revelations that derogatory comments were inserted into Wikipedia entries about the Hillsborough disaster from computers in several Whitehall departments.

“Blame Liverpool fans” was written on the main webpage about the tragedy, in which 96 people were crushed to death in a crowd during the FA Cup semi-final game between  Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989.

“Nothing for the victims of the Heysel stadium disaster” – the deaths of 39 people in a crush during a Liverpool-Juventus game in 1985 – was written into a passage about the Hillsborough memorial at Liverpool FC’s stadium, while “This is Anfield” was changed to “This is a Shithole”.

And the name of Liverpool FC’s adopted anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, was changed to “You’ll Never Walk Again” .

The Liverpool Echo newspaper reported that it had linked the comments, made between 2009 and 2012, to IP addresses of computers in Whitehall departments, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Treasury and the Office of the Solicitor General.

In a statement, the Cabinet Office said: “We thank the Liverpool Echo for bringing this to our attention. This is a matter that we will treat with the utmost seriousness and are making urgent inquiries.

“No one should be in any doubt of the Government’s position regarding the Hillsborough disaster and its support for the families of the 96 victims and all those affected by the tragedy.”

Kenny Derbyshire, who was present at the game and chairs the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said the comments were “totally disgusting”.

“I find it very hard to believe that someone could do something like that. There are some very sick people out there,” he said. “This needs looking into very seriously. Whoever is involved in this should be named and shamed at least. It’s wrong and upsetting for the families.

Mr Derbyshire said if the comments were made by civil servants, then they should face losing their jobs. Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, told the Echo: “I don’t even know how to react, it’s just so sad. I hear something like that and it upsets me a great deal, it makes me incredibly sad.”

Wikipedia lists individual edits and each is tagged to the author. They can choose a user name or remain anonymous, but the IP address can still be traced.

The Echo established that the IP addresses linked to the insulting comments were ones previously identified as unique IP addresses for the Government Secure Intranet. However this network covers thousands of computers and further investigations by IT experts would be needed to narrow this down.

An inquest is taking place into the causes of the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium. In addition to the deaths, 776 people were injured.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker - Learning Difficulties

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a leading and growing provider of...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

£7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer - 2nd & 3rd Line

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones