Government response

Hillsborough Wikipedia edits

A statement from the Cabinet Office on amendments made to Wikipedia about the Hillsborough disaster.

The amendments made to Wikipedia are sickening. The behaviour is in complete contravention of the Civil Service Code. It is entirely unacceptable.

When the issue was brought to our attention by the Liverpool Echo we launched immediate enquiries, as we announced this morning. This investigation is being led by the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Richard Heaton, who is responsible for the government computer network. He will be working closely with the Director General for Propriety and Ethics and her team, as well as other senior officials.

We are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness. Our first priority is to establish the facts and to examine the issues raised. Once we have the facts, we will update Parliament with the findings and consider further appropriate action. We will be keeping important stakeholders including the Hillsborough Family Support Group, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, The Rt Revd James Jones, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Hillsborough Disaster updated. In addition we will invite the Rt. Hon. Andy Burnham MP, who has a deserved status as an expert on the disaster, to view all relevant material from the very outset and at every stage so that he can assure himself that all steps have been taken.

At this time, we have no reason to suspect that the Hillsborough edits involve any particular department, nor more than 1 or 2 individuals in 2009 and 2012. As the first incident happened 5 years ago and there are hundreds of thousands of people on the government’s network, it may prove challenging to identify who was involved. But we are exhausting every option. Anyone with information should contact the Cabinet Office.

No one should be in any doubt of the government’s position regarding the Hillsborough disaster and its support for the families of the 96 victims and all those affected by the tragedy.