Labour pledges to introduce ‘Hillsborough Law’ at Liverpool conference

The law would provide a major re-balancing of the justice system, preventing others from going through the terrible struggles of the Hillsborough families.

The Labour Party has promised that a Labour government would introduce a Hillsborough Law, ensuring victims of major tragedy receive adequate support.

At the Labour party conference in Liverpool, Shadow Justice Secretary, Steve Reed said that “authorities failed” Hillsborough disaster victims and that their families had been left to fight for justice by themselves.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer holds his key note speech on the third day of the annual Labour Party conference on September 27. Image: Ian Forsyth/Getty

The Hillsborough Law Now campaign, created by bereaved families, activists and politicians, has been calling for the new law to help prevent future tragedies.

The campaign has received the backing of Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotherham, MP Ian Byrne and Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham.

What is the Hillsborough Law?

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burham and the metro mayor of Liverpool Steve Rotheram (right)

Ninety-seven Liverpool fans died as a result of a crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium on 15 April 1989, in the most deadly sporting event in history.

Liverpool fans were slated by the media, blaming them for what happened, and the victims’ deaths were classed as ‘accidental deaths.’

After a 27-year campaign by Hillsborough families, a jury concluded that the victims were unlawfully killed and that the fans did not contribute to their deaths.

The jury found police failures, stadium design faults and a delayed response from the ambulance service lead to the deaths of the 97 victims.

Image: Lewis Storey/Getty

The Hillsborough Law would introduce a statutory duty of candour on public servants during all forms of public inquiry and criminal investigation.

It would also ensure proper participation of bereaved families at inquests, through publicly-funded legal representation, and the provision of a public advocate to act for families of the deceased after major incidents.

What did Labour say?

Sir Kier Starmer said it was the first Labour conference “since this city’s call for justice for the 96 became justice for the 97,” referring to Andrew Devine who died in 2021 from health complications as a result of Hillsborough.

Liverpool add the name of the 97th Hillsborough victim Andrew Devine to the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield on January 28, 2022. Image: LFC via Getty

The Labour leader said: “For too long, this city has been let down, so when Labour wins the next election, one of my first acts as prime minister will be to put the Hillsborough law on the statute book.

“I promise you, we will get this city the justice it deserves.”