PM 'regretful' on Hillsborough

Campaigners urge Cameron to make a full apology on publication of new report on tragedy

David Cameron will express his regret this week over the mistakes which led to the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at Hillsborough in 1989, but he has not yet committed himself to making a public apology for the disaster.

The Prime Minister will offer an "expression of regret" over the handling of the tragedy, after the publication of an independent report into the events before, during and after the fatal crush at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Mr Cameron has not yet seen the report, compiled by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones. But senior government sources stressed that he was ready to issue a full apology if the report, and more than half a million pages of documents relating to the disaster, reveal failings on the part of the police, government or other public bodies.

"A lot of people have concerns about the police, but we expect the report will contain legitimate criticism of the way the government handled things at the time," a government source said. "We haven't seen the report yet, but the tone of the response is going to be in the direction of an expression of regret."

Last October, Mr Cameron told the Commons that Hillsborough was "a national tragedy".

He added: "I am hugely sympathetic to the families of the victims, and I am sure that there are regrets for all the institutions involved at the time, including the Government."

In 1990, an inquiry chaired by Lord Justice Taylor ruled the prime cause of the catastrophe was mismanagement by South Yorkshire Police, who allowed overcrowding on the terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground.

But relatives of the victims have complained that the police attempted to shift the blame on to Liverpool fans, claiming that many of them caused the crush after arriving drunk, late and without tickets.

Documents released earlier this year disclosed that the then-prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, was told a senior police officer had blamed "drunken Liverpool fans" for causing the disaster.

The Jones report is expected to reinforce condemnation of the police, although it may go further and criticise the response of politicians who assumed hooliganism played a part.

Campaigners insist the injustices faced by the victims' families over the past two decades mean Mr Cameron should offer a full public apology for the "cover-up" when the report is published on Wednesday.

Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said the Prime Minister's response should mirror his apology after the Saville Inquiry laid bare official failings over the Bloody Sunday killings in Londonderry in 1972.

The shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham called on Mr Cameron to show leadership: "We were all impressed with Mr Cameron's response to the Saville Inquiry, and how he brought reconciliation to the people of Londonderry. The people of Liverpool deserve nothing less."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam