Clegg makes promise to release all Hillsborough documents
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Monday 17 October 2011
The Government will today vow to publish sensitive Cabinet papers on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, eventually, while rejecting calls for them to be made public immediately.
In a Commons debate on the tragedy, in which 96 Liverpool fans died and hundreds were injured, at an FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday's ground, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will pledge that all documents about the incident will be released after full consultation with the bereaved families.
An independent panel is studying the two million documents, most of which are likely to be released next year. As well as revealing details of an emergency Cabinet meeting called by Margaret Thatcher, the then Prime Minister, the files may shed light on the way South Yorkshire Police handled the disaster.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, who has pressed for the release of the papers, said: "The truth is the best antidote to people's anger and suspicion, so we have got to get the truth out there. We are saying as a government we will give over all of the Cabinet papers. Everything that is normally the subject of Freedom of Information requests. We give it over to the panel and they can then have discussions with the families."
Mr Clegg, a Sheffield MP, said details should not remain secret to protect the police. "I think everybody accepts this is not the time for people to worry about the reputation of this or that institution," he said.
He told BBC Radio 5 that views among the families differ, so it was best for the panel to decide on publication of the documents.
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