The BBC’s north of England correspondent Judith Moritz has been tweeting some details of the Hilsborough Panel Report, revealing collusion between The Sun newspaper and the establishment to smear victims of the disaster:

  • The sources of the notorious and discredited front page splash were the Sheffield-based news agency “Whites” and a local Tory MP Sir Irvine Patnick
  • The Police Federation met on 19 April 1989, the day the Sun article was published
  • The Federation representative apparently confirmed then that “putting our side of the story over to the press and media” had been his priority
  • Chief Constable Peter Wright had said “the truth could not come from him” but that he had given the Police Federation a“free hand” in briefing the press
  • Peter Wright said “drunken ticketless individuals” should be blamed

Meanwhile, Cabinet documents have revealed Margaret Thatcher’s concern that the report would be a “devastating criticism” of the police.

  1. “Meanwhile, Cabinet documents have revealed Margaret Thatcher’s concern that the report would be a “devastating criticism” of the police.”

    She was right.

  2. RE: Hillsborough – Please, please, please, could you remove the picture that appeared on the Sun of the Liverpool fans being crushed to death. I find it too harrowing to look at and people’s relatives and loved ones are clearly identifiable. It was a disgrace they were published in the first place and I think today’s report says it all. Thank you.

  3. I would just like to reiterate the above comment, by La Ritournelle.

    Please let the victims of the Hillsborough disaster rest in peace.
    And respect the feelings of relatives, who have already suffered more than enough.

  4. Lorenza Brookes says:

    As above comments, however I would like to say that showing that colour photo was unnecessary ; you could of just shown The Sun page and left it at that. We don’t need the photos of the dying to know how tragic it was.

  5. Ann Weatherly-Barton says:

    At last justice for all those who died and those who still grieve. Just much, much too late and too many lies. It is such a disgrace and as if the families of those who died hadn’t suffered enough have had to wait all this time for justice and answers! As well as all those who had to put up with all the lies that surrounded this horrible disaster by people in authority that the fans should have been able to trust.

  6. I’ve never seen that picture but it brings home to me the full horror of the tragedy. Sometimes a picture says so much more than words.

  7. Hello

    That photo that you have published, was on the front page of the sun. At the time i was 20 years old and heavily pregnant with my daughter who was born May 89.

    That photo affected me SO MUCH that i have never forgotten it. I am stunned to see it here today. I cant remember ANY other photo in a newspaper, but i remember that one.

    Please remove it. It should never have been published in the first place.

  8. Billy B

    If i recall correctly there are people who are turning blue behind the sun photo 🙁

    Some things should NEVER be published, esp on the front page of a newspaper. Its a photo of people either being seriously injured, or I am sure, dying.

    For me to remember that photo, and all the details 23 years later – and always have remembered it, it must have affected me psychologically – how it must have been for those poor people who experienced it, is awful ….

    I thought at the time (even though i was young), how the hell could that photographer stand there taking photos from the other side of the fence? Some things just don’t need to be shown, way too much information

  9. David Cameron’s statement in the “House” today that there is “no evidence of any government trying to conceal the truth” only adds insult to injury. Cabinet papers included in the report show that a cover-up was created by lies, spin and deceit actively put forward by the government of the time. Margaret Thatcher and her government were fully aware of the truth but, for political reasons, allowed the lies to be left unaddressed. Now that a memo from Douglas Hurd as well as a memo from one of Thatcher’s private secretaries have been included in the evidence, Cameron’s statement is a disgrace. This disgusting attitude by our current Prime Minister is little different that of the PM of that time.

  10. The image we have used is harrowing and upsetting. But this and similar images taken from the vantage point of the pitch are arguably the iconic photographs of the incident and a vital means to remember – and educate about – the disaster. I am sure these photos will feature in nearly every book on the tragedy.

    Hillsborough happened 23 years ago. Many people reading this blog will not even have been born then. I would be very uncomfortable with getting into a situation in which photos of wars and disasters – having been widely used by the press at the time – are effectively censored for subsequent generations.

    Should we restrict use of this image, for example?

    How about this one?

    I completely agree that the image is difficult to look at. But I think the press were right to use these images at the time, and I see nothing wrong with them being used again provided they are given a sensitive treatment.

    Just to clarify, I’m pretty confident this is not a “Sun” photo. Similar images are credited to picture agencies, rather than Sun staff photographers. An even more graphic photo, I assume taken after this one, was used as a wrap-around front cover by the Daily Mirror.

    Daily Mirror:

    It has been used subsequently e.g. by the Telegraph (see slideshow):

    Re the comment from “Scotty”:

    I thought at the time (even though i was young), how the hell could that photographer stand there taking photos from the other side of the fence? Some things just don’t need to be shown, way too much information

    They “stood there taking pictures” because they are a photojournalist and that is their job, to document the news — good and bad — using their camera. As the report states, the emergency services were to blame — not press or photographers. The Hillsborough Panel would have found the photo reportage from that day invaluable. I doubt there is much this person could have done to help from this side of the fence either.

    Notwithstanding actually complaints about these images from Hillsborough families (please email us if this is the case) we will be standing by our decision to use the image above.

  11. Just a note to say how thankful I am to all the Hillsboro Independent Panel. Now I would like to think all the people involved in the deplorable cover up are named shamed and prosecuted.

    I am the person in the grey jacket (striped shirt) on the right against the fence, cracked ribs and broken collarbone apart I feel so lucky to be here. Can,t believe its taken so long to get to this point but maybe this is the beginning of the end. YNWA, JFT96

  12. Dee Williams says:

    I am so relieved to hear that Tony Potts survived. I have searched all the available documents to try to find out what happened to the poor people in this horrific photograph. I know that Martin Malone is the man standing behind Marian McCabe, who along with her friend, Inger Shah, so tragically lost their lives. Did the young man with the blue jumper and the man in the red top standing at Tony’s side survive? My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who lost their lives, their families and the survivors of that horrendous day in 1989 x

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