Fresh calls for Hillsborough Law on six year anniversary of Manchester Arena bombing

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“It’s not just about Hillsborough families now”

Fresh calls have been made for the government to introduce a ‘Hillsborough Law’ to help bereaved families, six years on from Manchester Arena attack that killed 22 people in May 2017.

The law, known as the Public Authority (Accountability) Bill, would place a legal duty of candour on public authorities and officials to tell the truth and proactively cooperate with official investigations and inquiries.

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The bill aims to ensure that families of major disasters such as Hillsborough or the Manchester Arena attack receive legal aid, and ensure the failings during investigations into the Hillsborough disaster do not happen again.

The Hillsborough Law was sponsored by MPs from almost all parties and had its first reading in the House of Commons unopposed; however, the 2019 General Election halted its progress.

Campaigner Margaret Aspinall, whose son died in Hillsborough, said: "We've learnt so many lessons from what we've had to go through, and we haven't learnt them for the good of us. We've learnt them, hopefully, to educate and help others for the future."

Steve Kelly, whose brother died at Hillsborough, said, "It's not just about Hillsborough families now there's other groups that have joined us, for example, Grenfell, the blood scandals. The list goes on. This family is sadly growing because people haven't got that support. The Hillsborough Law will hopefully ensure that people do not go through what we've gone through all these years."

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In March, the government announced that survivors and the bereaved families of major disasters like Hillsborough, the Manchester Arena bombing and the Grenfell Tower fire will receive new dedicated support in the future.

An expert panel will act to represent families as a new Independent Public Advocate ensuring that the voices of victims and their families are better heard right from the immediate aftermath of a tragedy until all inquiries and inquests have concluded.

Crucially, the Independent Public Advocate will be responsible for producing a report once all investigations have been completed and make recommendations to the government for improvements based on the experiences of survivors and the bereaved.

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