Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:03 UK

Hillsborough statement: Cameron and Miliband apologise

Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition leader Ed Miliband have both apologised to the families of those killed in the Hillsborough stadium disaster, as the extent of police efforts to shift blame for the tragedy onto innocent football fans was made public for the first time.

In a Commons statement on 12 September 2012, Mr Cameron offered "a profound apology" to grieving relatives who have waited 23 years to hear the truth.

And Mr Miliband admitted the "uncomfortable truth" that Labour should have done more during its 13 years in government to offer the families answers.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, has analysed thousands of pages of documents from 80 organisations concerning the disaster and has made public its findings at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.

The panel was set up to manage the full disclosure of all information relating to the disaster and to create a permanent public archive of the documents.

Its report (pdf) found that police had made "strenuous attempts" to deflect the blame for the disaster on to innocent fans.

Mr Cameron said this constituted "164 statements [that] were significantly amended, and 116 explicitly removed negative comments about the policing operation, including its lack of leadership".

He said: "The families have long believed that some of the authorities attempted to create a completely unjust account of events that sought to blame the fans for what happened.

"The families were right. The evidence in today's report includes briefings to the media and attempts by the police to change the record of events."

Victims' families also disputed the findings of an inquest into the deaths, which ruled all the victims were dead or brain dead by 3.15pm and which subsequently recorded verdicts of accidental death.

Mr Cameron said the panel's report backed the relatives' concerns and he ordered Attorney General Dominic Grieve to consider today's findings and decide whether to apply to the High Court for new inquests.

On 15 April 1989, 95 Liverpool fans were crushed to death on overcrowded terraces at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during the FA Cup semi-final. The 96th victim, Tony Bland, was left in a coma and died in 1993.

A report by Lord Justice Taylor, published in 1990, found that the main reason for the disaster was a failure by South Yorkshire Police to properly control the crowds of supporters.


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