Government to release full Hillsborough files

The Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, has agreed to release previously unpublished documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Mr Johnson told the mothers of three of the 96 victims of his decision at a face-to-face meeting in London yesterday.

The release of the documents, in co-operation with South Yorkshire Police, will be co-ordinated by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which is to be set up within weeks. The panel could start sifting through the paperwork as early as September.

The Home Office said the documents would be made available to the families before they are made public because they may contain sensitive and personal information about the last minutes of the victims' lives.

A spokesman said: "Hillsborough was a terrible tragedy and the Government is committed to full disclosure of information held centrally and by local agencies in order to help provide a permanent record of documentation relating to the tragedy. The Home Secretary, together with Health Secretary Andy Burnham and Justice minister Michael Wills, have had a useful and productive meeting with the Hillsborough Family Support Group to explore options that will enable them to have access to all relevant papers."

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