PM highlights failings
Feature by Adam Bryant
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken to parliament ahead of the publication of the Hillsborough report.
"The disaster at the Hillsborough football stadium was one of the greatest peacetime tragedies of this century.
"There was a public inquiry at the time which found that the main cause was failure of police control.
"The families have not heard the truth and not found justice.
"Over 450,000 pages of evidence have been reviewed. It is already very clear that many of the report findings are extremely distressing.
"There was a failure of authorities to help protect people, attempt to blame fans and doubt cast on original coroner's inquest.
"There is a trail of new documents that how the extent to which the safety of the crowd at Hillsborough was 'compromised at every level' and that the ground failed to meet minimum standards and the deficiencies were well known. The turnstyles were inadequate, the gound capacity had been overcalculated, the crowd barriers failed to meet safety standards and there had been a crush at the same match the year before. Today's report shows very clearly that lessons had not been learned.
"The major incident plan was not fully implemented, rescue attempts were held back by failures of leadership and coordination, and new documents today show there was a delay in the emergency services when people were being crushd and killed.
"The evidence includes briefings to the media and attempts by police to chance the record of events. Several newspapers reported false allegations that fans were drunk and violent and stole from the dead.
"The Sun's report sensationalised these allegations under a banner headline 'The Truth'. This was clearly wrong and caused huge distress and hurt. News International has cooperated with the panel and today's report reveals that the source of these dispicable untruths was a Sheffield news agency reporting conversations with South Yorkshire police. This was part of police efforts to develop and publicise a version of events that focussed on allegations of drunkenness, tickeltessness and violence.
"164 statements were significantly amended and 116 explicitly removed negative comments about the policing operation including its lack of leadership.
"There is new evidence that the police carried out computer checks on those who had died in an attempt to 'impune the reputations of the deceased'. The coroner took blood samples from all the deceased including children. Alcohol consumption was unremarkable and not exceptional for a social or leisure occasion."
More to follow....
The results of the report will be made public very shortly this afternoon.