UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Hillsborough Archive - UNISON NEC calls for a public enquiry in 1996

The Independent Panel on the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has published all disclosed material on-line and it includes correspondence from UNISON's National Executive Council - sent in 1996 by former General Secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe to the then Conservative Prime Minister John Major in support of a public enquiry:

UNISON said: 'UNISON’s National Executive Council recently considered the Hillsborough tragedy in the wake of the TV documentary and subsequent reporting of the matter. Many UNISON members have been involved in the events surrounding this tragedy and the National Executive Council felt that the events raised issues which would best be dealt with by a full public enquiry into the tragedy and the events leading up to, during, and since. Will you give consideration to this matter, and let me know whether the Government is willing to establish such an enquiry.'

The Tory Government, and subsequently the Blair Government, of course resisted demands for an enquiry - despite Jack Straw MP commissioning an investigation into 'new evidence' by Lord Justice Stuart-Smith in 1997 after which the then Labour Home Secretary said: "I do not believe that a further inquiry could or would uncover significant new evidence or provide any relief for the distress of those who have been bereaved."

As we know, this delayed for 15 years a just outcome for the survivors and families of victims lost in Britain's worst ever stadium disaster.

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