Dave Watts: Those responsible for Hillsborough cover-up should hang their heads in shame (From St Helens Star)
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Dave Watts: Those responsible for Hillsborough cover-up should hang their heads in shame
10:26am Friday 21st September 2012 in News
AS the full horror of the Hillsborough disaster and subsequent cover up was revealed last week, MPs with strong links to the tragedy have welcomed the findings.
Dave Watts’ friend David Hawley was one of the 96 who lost their lives at the FA Cup semi final in 1989.
The 39-year-old was not the only fan from St Helens who was killed. Nicholas Joynes had been married for six months, when he died, aged just 27.
His parents Patricia and Peter from Sutton have been heavily involved in the call for the documents to be made public.
A vocal campaigner for the disclosure of the documents, Watts, the Labour MP for St Helens North, said: “What this has done is demonstrated 100 per cent, the lies spread by the media, in particular the Sun and the police were completely untrue and they should all hang their heads in shame.
“After 20 years, the families have cleared the names of their loved ones. It’s already terrible to lose a loved one, but the fact that the media spread such bad stories about them.
It became part of the psyche because people believed it.
“It was a shocking cover up. It demonstrates weaknesses in how we deal with tragedies like this to make sure it’s investigated properly and hold people to account.
“This is a shocking and damning report, but at least the families know the truth.” He said the report raises question at government level and about the judicial review, which he says “didn’t see all the evidence available”.
Watts also blamed the police and ambulance service, adding: “They should have owned up to failures so families were not left having to campaign for more than 20 years.
“It raises questions about whether people should be held accountable now. A lot of families just want the names of their loved ones cleared.”
Andy Burnham, the MP for Leigh, is a former St Aelred’s pupil in Newton-le-Willows and St Helens schools cricketer.
He instigated the process for disclosure of the documents when he was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Speaking in the House of Commons, he said a “monumental cover up” had been exposed.
He said: “Finally the full horror of Hillsborough has been revealed; a catalogue of neglect, appalling failure and sheer mendacity; a tragedy that should have been prevented, lives that should have been saved.
“Devastating truths made far worse, not better for the passage of time. A 3.15pm cut off, with no legal, moral or medical justification.
“Parents only hearing today what happened to their children, because people whose job it was to protect them then turned against the victims.
“A monumental cover up and a sickening campaign of vilification against the victims, traumatised families and a city in shock.
“Does the Prime Minister agree with me that the names of the 96 Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough have been emphatically cleared?
“I thank him and the Home Secretary for supporting the disclosure process I initiated. Can I ask him to continue to work with us to right these wrongs and at long last bring justice for the 96.”