LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 15, 2014: An Everton supporter looks on at a large banner with the names of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Disaster embodied before the 25th Anniversary Hillsborough Service at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Everton join Liverpool and Brighton in campaign for Hillsborough Law

Everton are the third Premier League club to join the campaign for a Hillsborough Law, as pressure on the UK government for a reform of the justice system grows.

Last week saw the launch of the Hillsborough Law Now movement, with Liverpool and Manchester mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham holding a live event in support of the campaign.

They were joined by speakers including former Hillsborough Family Support Group chair Margaret Aspinall, who lost her son James to the tragedy in 1989.

Liverpool have given substantial backing to a Hillsborough Law, which is based on the following:

  • A charter for families bereaved through public tragedy legally binding on all public bodies
  • A statutory duty of candour on public servants during all forms of public inquiry and criminal investigation
  • Proper participation of bereaved families at inquests, through publicly funded legal representation and an end to near limitless legal spending by public bodies
  • A public advocate to act for families of the deceased after major events

Though the campaign is inspired by the 97 who lost their lives to the disaster in Sheffield over 30 years ago and its wider impact on survivors and families of those lost, it is designed to protect those affected by any other public tragedies.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, September 17, 2012: Mascots Beth Garner-Watt, 11, and Mikey Clarke, 8, stand for a minute's applause to remember the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster before the Premiership match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Monday, Brighton became the first Premier League club to join Liverpool in their backing of a Hillsborough Law, and now, Everton have given their support.

A statement on Tuesday afternoon reads:

Everton Football Club continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with the families of the 97, Liverpool Football Club and the people of our great city as the Club proudly adds its support to the Hillsborough Law Now movement.

“The campaign, formed by the Hillsborough families and survivors of the tragedy, calls for a change to the legal system to prevent others going through what the close relatives of the 97 have – and continue to – experience in their quest for justice.

“Supported by Mayor Steve Rotherham of the Liverpool City Region and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, the new law proposes to compel all public officials to be truthful at inquiries into public tragedies or disaster situations, while also offering bereaved families better access to financial resources for legal representation at inquests.

Everton will always stand in solidarity with the families who lost their loved ones at, or as a result of, the tragic events of football’s darkest day on 15 April 1989 and supports the continued call for justice.

“The dignity with which those families have carried themselves represents everything anyone needs to know about them and the people of the city of Liverpool.

“For that reason, Everton Football Club calls for a #HillsboroughLawNow”