This week I was proud to be one of the MPsponsors of the Hillborough Law which has been introduced by Andy Burnham as a 10-Minute Rule Bill. Officially known as the Public Authority (Accountability) Bill, itwill make sure that the Government learns the lessons of the Hillsborough disaster so that no disaster victimsor their families ever have to go through similar experiences.
At the first inquests in 1990, South Yorkshire Police were allowed to spend thousands of pounds on top lawyers to defend themselves. Meanwhilevictims and their families received no such support andhad to pay forlegal representation on their own. This meant that the inquests werefar more difficultand more painful than theyhad to be.
If passed the Public Authority (Accountability) Billwill make sure that ordinary peoplegeta fair hearing at inquestsby providing them with the same level of legal aid as the public bodiesthey are up against. The law will alsomake it illegal for those in public service to give misleading information at an inquest, punishable bya prison sentence.
The Hillsborough families have been waiting for justice for 27 years and are only now starting to get the answers they deserve. This law will help to ensure that no one faces such an uphill battle again by giving victims and their families the support and protections they need.
The billwill be given a second reading on 12 May. You can read about the law here – http://www.thehillsboroughlaw.com/