LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 22, 2023: Liverpool supporters' banner calling for a Hillsborough Law during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Labour Party commits to Hillsborough Law in UK general election manifesto

The Labour Party have pledged to introduce a Hillsborough Law, should they win the general election.

With the UK general election taking place on July 4, opposition party Labour have included the introduction of a Hillsborough Law in their manifesto, report the Liverpool Echo.

This is a declaration that they will seek to push through the new law, should they win the election and get into power.

The Hillsborough Law Now campaign aims to introduce a bill that would:

“Create a new legal duty of candour on public authorities and officials to tell the truth and proactively cooperate with official investigations and inquiries – bringing to an end the depressingly familiar pattern of cover ups and concealment.

“Ensure victims of disasters or state-related deaths are entitled to parity of legal representation during inquests and inquiries. This will mean that bereaved families can get public funding, just as public money is used to support Government and public authority lawyers.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 5, 2024: Liverpool supporters' flag "Never Forget" referencing the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster seen before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

• Learn more about the Hillsborough Law Now campaign here

It is good news that the law forms part of the manifesto, but it is no guarantee that it will be passed in parliament given manifesto policies are often never actually acted on.

Journalist Liam Thorp reports the manifesto says:

“Under the Conservatives, too many victims of historical injustices have had insult added to injury by years of legal delays.

“Without justice and truth, victims and their families cannot move forward. Labour will right this wrong, act on the findings of the Infected Blood Inquiry and respond to the findings of the Grenfell Inquiry and the Covid-19 Inquiry, to ensure swift resolution.

“Labour will introduce a ‘Hillsborough Law’ which will place a legal duty of candour on public servants and authorities and provide legal aid for victims of disasters or state-related deaths.”

Margaret Aspinall- mother of James Aspinall, Steve Kelly - brother of Michael Kelly, Sue Roberts - sister of Graham Roberts hold Hillsborough Law Now banner - May 18, 2023

After the current Conservative Government stopped short of introducing the law in late 2023, the announcement does at least bring fresh optimism for the campaign.

The reason given by the Government as to why a Hillsborough Law wasn’t pushed through was because they were “not aware” of any gaps in legislation or clarifications needed that would further encourage a culture of candour among public servants in law.

It is understood the current Government believes that adopting the duty of candour would risk “creating conflict and confusion” because of the framework of duties and obligations already developed since the disaster.

While Liverpool supporters and the city’s people will be pleased to see the Hillsborough Law being pledged, it won’t heal the rift created by Labour leader Keir Starmer, who continues to work with the Sun newspaper.