Deputy PM backs call to release Hillsborough files
Published 23:01 23/08/11 By James Lyons
Deputy PM Nick Clegg has thrown his weight behind efforts to secure justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
The Liberal Demcorat leader has ordered aides to urgently look at how the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died can get access to secret papers on the tragedy.
Clegg’s action comes after an official Government petition demanding their release hit the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a Parliamentary debate.
A Lib Dem source said: “Nick is a Sheffield MP, so he is aware of how strongly people feel about Hillsborough, and getting as much information as possible about what happened on this tragic day.
“He has asked his office to look in to it.”
Relatives of fans killed in the 1989 tragedy feel the emergency services could have done more to save them and fear a cover-up.
They believe classified papers that include details of the briefing given to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher could shed more light on the incident but the government has been fighting to prevent them being released.
Information watchdog Christopher Graham has ruled they should be made public, but the Cabinet Office has appealed the decision.
Clegg knows that the situation is a difficult one but believes that the families’ wishes should be paramount, the Lib Dem source said:
“He is aware of the complexities around the issue of release and the need to get the balance right.
“But his priority is making sure the families get access to the information they want and they need.
“That is why he is working with the rest of government to get the solution.”