I want to place on record the government’s support for the work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel under the chairmanship of the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool. What happened at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989 was a tragedy of national and international significance. The government recognises that despite the various examinations of the circumstances which have taken place over the years, important questions remain to be resolved.
With this in mind, the Hillsborough Independent Panel has been created to oversee the disclosure of the records relating to Hillsborough; to report on how the disclosed material adds to public understanding of the tragedy and its aftermath, and to make recommendations for a permanent archive.
The panel has the government’s full support in achieving maximum possible disclosure of the records, initially to the Hillsborough families and then publicly. No changes are to be made either to the panel’s terms of reference or to its membership, which both remain as previously published.
I am well aware of the significance of the Hillsborough disaster, which had a profound impact on Liverpool as well as people in Sheffield, Nottingham and beyond. My meetings with the Bishop of Liverpool have confirmed to me both the importance of the panel’s work and the diligence and professionalism with which it is carrying out its duty, and I am happy to confirm it will continue with our full support.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May)
Date: Thu Jul 22 11:33:54 BST 2010