WEST Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has reiterated her full support to the campaign for a ‘Hillsborough Law’ to protect and support families of those bereaved in disasters.
Ms Cooper, who was a Liverpool city councillor for 27 years, has spoken a number of times in the House of Commons about the ongoing struggle for Justice for the 97 victims of the disaster on April 15 1989, and for their families, who have shown such solidarity and dignity in their fight for the truth.
Calls for a ‘Hillsborough Law’ emerged in the wake of a review by the Right Reverend James Jones, former Bishop of Liverpool, which detailed 25 recommendations designed to reform the systems of unaccountable power, which were abused by organisations connected to the disaster.
The law would bring in a number of measures including: a public advocate to represent the families of those bereaved in disaster events; a ‘duty of candour’ on public servants such as police officers to tell the truth and co-operate fully with inquiries; increased access to legal aid so that families can have legal representation of their own; and a requirement that any criminal trials following a major inquest take place in a court with relevant expertise and status, rather than a crown court.
Ms Cooper said: “As we draw close to the 33rd anniversary of this unspeakable tragedy, I again pay tribute to the work of all the campaigners for Justice for the 97, and especially the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
“ITV’s recent drama Anne has served as a powerful reminder to the whole nation of the impact of Hillsborough on the city of the Liverpool, and the countless lives that were forever changed by that day.
“I have given this campaign my full and unreserved support - it is long overdue that families affected by disasters like Hillsborough have enhanced protection in law, and receive the support that they deserve.
“More recent incidents such as the fire at Grenfell Tower remind us that we must always strive for truth and justice for those who lose their lives in these senseless tragedies.
“The truth will come out but it shouldn’t take so many years. The Government needs to make it easier, not just for justice to be done – but to be seen to be done.”