Sir Irvine Patnick - source for Sun story that smeared Liverpool fans after Hillsborough disaster - dies, aged 83

 

The former Conservative MP who helped smear Liverpool fans after the Hillsborough disaster has died.

Sir Irvine Patnick, who was a source for a Sun story criticising the supporters' behaviour in the tragedy, died yesterday aged 83.

He was the MP for Sheffield Hallam from 1987 to 1997. A successful businessman before becoming an MP, he was knighted in 1994.

There had been calls for him to be stripped of his knighthood since his role in The Sun's coverage of the disaster was made clear by the Hillsborough Independent Panel in September.

Amid widespread revulsion at the police cover-up which sought to shift the blame for the tragedy to the fans, Sir Irvine said in September he was "deeply and sincerely sorry" about his role. He said he had passed on police information that was "inaccurate, misleading and plain wrong".

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

A statement issued by his family to the BBC said: "Sir Irvine Patnick OBE, died peacefully on 30 December 2012, aged 83, in Sheffield.

"He was a much loved husband of Lynda and father of Suzanne and Matthew.

"He'll be sadly missed by his brothers and by all his family and friends."

Alan Ryder, former deputy chairman of the Sheffield Hallam Conservatives, said Sir Irvine always did his best for the city.

Mr Ryder said: "He was a very good councillor in Sheffield and he was also a local MP at a time when obviously, when he was on the council and in government, he was very much a minority in this area, being only one of a very small band of Tories.

"He always did his best for Sheffield, his record over the years shows that, and I'm sure everybody who knew him would say the same."

PA

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