Victory at last: High court quashes Hillsborough 'accidental death' verdict

By politics.co.uk staff

Families of those killed in the Hillsborough disaster won recognition of their campaign after nearly a quarter of a century today when the high court quashed the verdict of 'accidental killing' concerning their deaths.

There will now be a fresh inquest into the tragedy. The news comes on the same day as home secretary Theresa May announced a new police investigation into the disaster, which will be led by former Durham chief constable Jon Stoddart.

"The opportunity to quash the original inquest verdicts of accidental death seemed like an impossible task for 23 years," Steve Rotheram, Liverpool Walton MP, said in a statement.

"My hope is that the overwhelming evidence that was uncovered in the Hillsborough Independent Panel report will be enough to emphatically prove that Hillsborough was not an accident.

"The wheels of justice turn slowly in Britain but they are beginning to gather momentum. This is just the beginning of a process that will see one of the greatest injustices in the last century put right and those really responsible for Hillsborough held to account."

Attorney general Dominic Grieve applied for the high court move following the publication of the report into the tragedy earlier this year.

The report portrayed a devastating story of a police cover-up after the deaths, with the blame for the tragedy being unfairly placed on Liverpool fans.

Announcing the new police investigation, May said: "I am determined to see a swift and thorough response to the findings of the Hillsborough panel to deliver justice for the 96 football fans who died and the families who have fought so hard on their behalf," she said.

"The findings of the Hillsborough independent panel were truly shocking, but while the families have now been given the truth, they have not yet received justice.

"Jon Stoddart is a skilled and dedicated investigator who will bring a huge amount of policing experience to this demanding job."the victims are attending the Royal Courts of Justice for the hearings, after over two decades of campaigning.