The recent debate in the House of Commons which culminated in a decision to release all Hillsborough documents was generally perceived as a victory for those fighting for justice. The debate arose because of an e-petition to release documents. The e-petition was initiated after the Hillsborough Justice Campaign issued a statement condemning the government for appealing the Information Commissioner’s ruling that it was in the public interest to release (under Freedom of Information), the minutes of a cabinet meeting, held under Margaret Thatcher in the days following the Hillsborough Disaster.
Sheila Coleman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign does not think that the result of the debate was a victory for either truth or justice. Rather she believes that a potentially dangerous precedent was set when the government agreed to hand over documents to the Hillsborough ‘Independent’ Panel.
Sheila will review the BBC’s FOI request in light of subsequent developments including how it led to Hillsborough being the subject of the first e-petition ever to be debated in the House of Commons. She will also tell of the reasons why families and survivors of the HJC remain unconvinced by recent promises and how the HJC remains marginalised in spite of being at the forefront of the campaign for justice.
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