12 September 2012 Last updated at 17:49

Hillsborough files released: As it happened

Key Points

  • The prime minister makes a "proper apology" to the families of those that have died. "I am profoundly sorry," he says
  • Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, who wrote the headline The Truth, has offered his "profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool"
  • David Crompton, chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, "profoundly apologises" to both the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims and Liverpool fans in general
  • The panel finds that a total of 41 people out of 96 "had the potential to be saved" beyond the 1515 time determined by the original inquest
  • The report finds flaws in the police operation and new evidence that the police carried out checks on those who had died in order to "impugn their reputations"
  • The report finds 164 statements were "significantly amended" and 116 "removed negative comments" about policing operation

    Welcome to the BBC News live page, bringing you the latest updates as previously unseen files regarding the Hillsborough disaster are released. Ninety-six Liverpool football club fans died from crush injuries at Sheffield Wednesday's ground on 15 April 1989 during an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.


    More than 400,000 pages of documents relating to the disaster from more than 80 organisations have been painstakingly analysed by the Hillsborough Independent Panel over the past 18 months. MPs agreed to the full uncensored disclosure of Cabinet papers in 2011.

    1153: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Downing Street say the Prime Minister received a copy of the Hillsborough report this morning in order to enable him to prepare his statement to the Commons. The PM's spokesman said Mr Cameron received his copy of the report after it was given to the families. The statement is due at 12:30 BST.


    Prime Minister's Questions: David Cameron begins by paying tribute to soldiers killed in Afghanistan - Guardsman Karl Whittle and Sgt Lee Davidson.

    1203: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    "The expectation has to be there will be some sort of apology from the British government" in the PM's statement this afternoon.

    Nick Robinson Political editor

    Standby for Bloody Sunday-style apology from PM after reading Hillsborough report but will it focus on role of police or politicians?


    Prime Minister's Questions: Conservative MP Lorraine Fulbroook asks about strike action by unions, after the TUC agreed this week to look into a general strike. The PM says the unions "are a threat to our economy" and challenges Ed Miliband not to take any more money from unions.


    Prime Minister's Questions: The atmosphere is subdued in the Commons, possibly because of the statement on Hillsborough which is due to follow.


    Prime Minister's Questions: Labour leader Ed Miliband starts by asking about long-term unemployment and youth unemployment. The PM denies the government is complacent.


    Prime Minister's Questions: Ed Miliband asks whether the PM is going to fail to meet his target to see debt falling by the next election. He says "Plan A is not working". The PM says the government has already cut the deficit by a quarter and attacks Labour's big idea of predistribution set out by Ed Miliband last week.


    Merseyside Times journalist Tony Barrett tweets "The Hillsborough families have literally applauded the panel for their work."


    Prime Minister's Questions: Ed Miliband asks if the PM will benefit from the cut in the 50% tax rate - something he doesn't answer. The PM argues instead there are now one million new private sector jobs and attacks Labour for wanting to spend more.


    Speaking earlier on BBC News, Dr Rogan Taylor from Liverpool University, who chaired the National Football Supporters Association at the time, said that the families just wanted the truth about what had happened: "All those people responsible for staging that match, from the Football Association... to the police policing it, the emergency services who attended it... The simple answer for everybody was: blame the fans. They killed themselves. Well I'm afraid that doesn't work, it doesn't ride, it's not true. I think what we want is the truth."

    Flowers laid at Hillsborough memorial

    Flowers have been laid at the Anfield memorial to the 96 Liverpool FC fans killed at the Hillsborough disaster.


    While we wait for the disclosure of the documents, the BBC's Kate Cooksey has investigated why the disclosure of the documents matters to the families of those who lost their lives.


    Prime Minister's Questions: The PM defends David Laws' return to the government after being found guilty of offences relating to his parliamentary expenses. He says "everyone deserves a second chance".


    BBC reporter James Vincent in Liverpool says rain is lashing Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral as the press gather to hear the findings of the Hillsborough panel report. Details will be released in the next few minutes.

    1233: Breaking News

    Prime Minister's Questions is over and David Cameron is now starting his statement on Hillsborough.


    David Cameron says the families have not heard the truth and have not found justice.


    Mr Cameron says many of the reports findings are "deeply distressing".


    Mr Cameron says the report reveals the shortcoming of the amubulances and emergency services response. He says there was a delay when people were being crushed and killed.


    Speaking earlier to BBC Merseyside, MP Derek Twigg said: "Having the facts out there and the truth out there today is vital". You can listen again

    Politics UK

    tweets: Commons atmosphere changes in a moment as #pmqs ends and #Hillsborough statement begins #livepolitics

    Breaking News

    Mr Cameron says newspapers reported false allegation about the behaviour of fans. He says the report finds flaws in the police operation and new evidence that the police carried out checks on those who had died in order to "impune their reputations".


    The prime minister says the panel did not find evidence of the government trying to conceal the truth.


    Liverpool FC's official account tweets: David Cameron: "The families were right."


    Mr Cameron says MPs will get a chance to debate the report in October.


    tweets: Well even the first few minutes of Camerons statement indicate a huge conspiracy of lies and deceit over Hillsborough. #JFT96

    1244: Breaking News

    The prime minister makes a "proper apology" to the families of those that have denied. "I am profoundly sorry," he says


    The Prime Minister said the independent panel had found the safety of the crowds at Hillsborough had been "compromised at every level".


    The PM says the report is "black and white" in concluding "Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster".


    PM: The panel found that 164 statements were "significantly amended", including the removal of 116 negative comments about the leadership of the police, to push the blame for the tragedy onto the fans.

    David Price, Tamworth

    emails: If the general theme of this report is true, that people acting for/on behalf of the state acted to cover up, distort or otherwise mislead the Coroner then this sounds to me very much like perverting the course of justice.


    Ed Miliband says it "shames us as a country" that it took 23 years to get to the truth.


    Mr Miliband says all government's since bear some share of responsibility and apologises on behalf of his party.

    Robert Bagrie, Newark, Notts

    emails: It was very convenient to blame rowdy fooball supporters for the Hillsborough tragedy. Poor policing and strewarding were to blame and I have said this from day one. Nothing I have seen or heard since has altered my opinion.

    1248: Nick Ravenscroft BBC North of England correspondent

    Among the headlines from a quick reading reading of the report: The ambulance service failed to implement their major incident plan fully. South Yorkshire police sought to deflect responsibility onto fans. The source of negative stories about fans (including by the Sun newspaper) was a local Sheffield news agency informed by senior police, and a local MP.

    Matthew Vennard

    tweets: I've no idea why this has taken so long. An utter disgrace. #hillsborough


    The Labour leader says the orginal inquest was "hopelessly inadequate", with new evidence showing some of the victims could have been saved.


    Mr Miliband pays tribute to the families of victims and their campaign for justice, without which, he says, we would not be here today.

    1251: Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    has been reading the report. The Sheffield news agency Whites and a local Tory MP Sir Irvine Patnick were the main ources of Sun 'Truth' article.

    1251: BBC's Judith Moritz

    tweets: Panel: For first time, inadequacy of ambulance response exposed #Hillsborough


    Mr Miliband asks the PM about whether those responsible for the behaviour of the police at the time can be held accountable.

    1252: Breaking News

    The report states that some individuals who died at Hillsborough could have had reversable asphyxia. It says it is highly likely what happened after 15:15 BST was "significant in determining how they died".


    Mr Cameron confirms that the Attorney General will look urgently at whether to ask the High Court to quash the verdict of the orginal inquest.


    tweets: 8551 days it has taken to hear any form of an apology from the Government about Hillsborough #JFT96 #HIP #neverforget

    1255: Nick Ravenscroft BBC North of England correspondent

    More from the report. The original pathologists evidence of a single unvarying pattern of death is unsustainable. It led to mistaken belief that an effective emergency services response could not have saved lives. South Yorkshire polce emphasised exceptional levels of drunkenness and aggression among fans. Beyond police accounts there is no substantive evidence to support this.


    Andy Burnham, who set up the Hillsborough panel, says "the full horror of Hillsbrough has been revealed". He calls it a "monumental coverup".

    1257: Nick Ravenscroft BBC North of England correspondent

    The report states a similar "near disaster" event could have happen at Hillsborough in 1981, and subsequent ground modifications actually increased dangers. There were further problems in 1987 and 1988. Ultimately, the risks were known and tragedy was forseeable


    Lib Dem Simon Hughes says today's evidence shows "football supporters were abused and villified without justification".


    PM quote in full: ""The new evidence that we're presented with today makes clear in my view that these families have suffered a double injustice: the injustice of the appalling events, the failure of the state to protect their loved ones, and the indefensible wait to get the truth, and then the injustice of the denigration of the deceased - that they were somehow at fault for their own deaths. So on behalf of the government, and indeed our country, I am profoundly sorry that this double injustice has been left uncorrected for so long."

    NW Evening Mail

    tweets: Top Cumbrian doctor and Liverpool FC hoped today for Hillsborough revelations


    BBC Sports Correspondent Dan Roan tweets PM: "31 had evidence of heart and lungs continuing to function after the crush...28 did not have obstruction of blood circulation"

    1300: Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    The independent panel says that the Police Federation met on 19th April 1989, the day the Sun article was published. The Police Federation representative apparently confirmed then that "putting our side of the story over to the press and media" had been his priority. He told the meeting that the Chief Constable Peter Wright had stated "the truth could not come from him", but that he had given the Police Federation a "free hand" and his support.


    Steve Rotherham, MP for Liverpool Walton, says we now have the "undeniable truth". He says "today we have made history, now we must change history" and he urges the PM to cooperate with any investigations into senior police officers.

    Simon Odyssey

    texts: This nearly happened to tottenham in 81. FA cup game at hillsborough nearly ending in disaster with fans were getting crushed. Will the FA accept some responsibility for not investigating 1981 and preventing further tragedy -

    1302: Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    At the Police Federation meeting, Chief Constable Peter Wright joined in and advised that the South Yorkshire Police case had to be pulled together. A "defence" had to be prepared, and a "rock solid story" be presented. Cheif Constable Wright believed that the Force would be "exonerated" by the Taylor inquiry, and considered that "blame" should be directed towards "drunken ticketless individuals".

    Ken, Aylesbury

    texts: It is disgusting how few MPs are present.


    David Blunkett, the former home secretary and Sheffield MP, tells MPs: "No one in their right mind could have blamed the victims". He says one of the lessons from Hillsborough is that a coverup can cause great harm and "transparency and openness" must be the way to the truth.

    Chris Leonard

    tweets: Heart wrenching details made public but 'Justice for the 96' is just that little bit closer today @BBC_HaveYourSay

    Merseyside-born footballer Joey Barton

    tweets Its not about blame. Its about Justice. Imagine if it was your son/daughter/brother/sister/mother/father/friend #JFT96

    Steven Sumner

    texts: How can the PM say there was no evidence in the report of a government cover up if they have been in sole possession of these documents. Government after government have been concealing the truth.


    texts: A tragedy that couldn't be avoided because of no precedent to learn from. Lots of blame for all parties including fans outside with no tickets.


    Labour leader Ed Miliband: "The tragedy was not caused by fans but by an unsafe ground and terrible mistakes and negligence in policing. There was a systematic attempt by some in the police to cover this up after the event, and disgracefully to spread the blame to the fans. They were aided and abetted by parts of the media, and finally it is clear that the original inquest was hopelessly inadequate, declaring the so-called 3.15 cut off, assuming that all those who had died had sustained fatal injuries by that time when in fact the post mortem records show that not to be the case, and tragically show some of the victims could have been saved."


    Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, says it was a "major and sytematic coverup". She wants assurances that the PM will keep parliament updated on progress on a new inquest.


    texts: Now please, Britain, stop accusing Liverpool of such unfounded and vile stereotypes, all due to a police cover up and an inquiry without all the evidence.


    The BBC's Judith Moritz tweets: A press conference by the Hillsborough independent panel will begin at 13:30 BST

    Katie Louise Gray

    tweets: I think it's disgusting the lack of respect the MPs have in the Commons. On their mobile phones or looking half asleep! @BBC_HaveYourSay


    Sir David Rutley MP for Macclesfield asks "what lessons can be learned for the future".

    Liverpool Echo

    tweets: David Blunkett, Labour Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough: 'No one in their right mind could have blamed the victims.'


    Ninety-six Liverpool football fans were killed in the Hillsborough tragedy. Here is a look at how the disaster unfolded and its aftermath.


    Merseyside MP Maria Eagle thanks the PM and those who have apologised saying "it will be some relief for the families". But she asks "is it not indicative of a failure in our legal system" that documents and facts were not brought out that were there at the time. She insists it must have a profound impact on the system for the future.


    texts: After 23 years we have some semblance of truth. What other truths were lost over those years we will never know. Now is a time to reflect, but please let's not wait another 23 years for justice.

    Daily Telegraph sports correspondent Henry Winter

    tweets Families vindicated. Fans exonerated. Police shamed. High Court must order a new - and this time truthful - Inquest into Hillsborough


    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay So will individuals be held responsible for altering police statements and bought to justice through the courts??

    Copy of the report

    The report was available for families and politicians to read before it was available to the public.


    Fighting back tears, Wirral Labour MP, Alison McGovern says: "There are no words in the English language that are good enough to describe the dignity, grace and courage of the families" of the disaster... She adds that the police and the legal system failed them, but the families "never failed".


    Ms McGovern then thanks the PM for the apology, and says she hopes that those who "worsened the lies" and the suffering "feel shame". She calls for new inquests or further apologies that may happen "to happen quickly".


    Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, says: "Finally the full horror of Hillsborough has been revealed - a catalogue of negligence, appalling failure and sheer mendacity; a tragedy that should have been prevented; lives that should have been saved."

    Sky News Glen Oglaza

    tweets: As a reporter who was there, cannot emphasise how shocking #hillsborough report is.Lives could & should have been saved. Shocked. Goose Bumps

    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: PM says details in #Hillsborough report will "take your breath away".

    Martin Lipton

    tweets: 59 out of 96 could have survived. 164 statements deliberately amended. No statistics could ever be more damning #jft96

    Spencer Middleton

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay this is a time for the families of the 96 to take solice in the outcome of the report. The Truth #JFT96 #Hillsborough


    Robert Buckland MP for South Swindon says the "grim revelation" calls for a "thorough and swift" investigation - misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice come to mind, he says.


    From David Cameron's statement: 164 statements were significantly amended - and 116 explicitly removed negative comments about the policing operation.

    1326: Martin Jones

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay The Sun newspaper should now say sorry publicly for the way they reported the untruths about the Liverpool fans. #jft96


    texts: I was proud to be british and living in a generally corrupt free society with great values. Today news about Hillsborough makes me deeply sad and embarrassed after a great summer where i was proud to be british! My thoughts are with the families.

    Hillsborough families watch David Cameron's Commons statement from inside the cathedral

    Families of the Hillsborough victims watch David Cameron's Commons statement from inside Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. The families are due to speak to the media after a press conference by the Hillsborough Independent Panel in a few minutes time.


    Here's a full account of the Prime Minister's statement

    John Doyle

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Everybody who signed the petition for these documents to be released can be very proud of themselves today! #JFT96


    Nigel Adams MP for Selby & Ainsty hopes the fact that the report cleared the victims of any blame will bring relief to the families. But he says it highlights some "dispicable journalism" which has had a "devastating effect on the families". He calls for a "front page, fulsome apology in tomorrow's Sun newspaper, and from it's proprieter.

    Musician Billy Bragg

    tweets: The PM has apologised to the families of Hillsborough victims. Will the editor of the Sun do the same tomorrow? #jft96

    Max Saunders

    tweets: Cannot believe what I'm reading re:Hillsborough, absolutely shocking that our government and police forces were/are capable of that.


    Luciana Berger MP says a "concerted cover up of smears and lies" has been conducted by police. She calls for the PM to demonstrate that this is being addressed at the very highest levels.

    Maria Eagle MP

    tweets: Profoundly shocked but relieved at findings of HIP. The families campaign has been completely vindicated. Full apology appropriate. #jft96


    The Sun newspaper is carrying a story claiming police and emergency services made "strenuous attempts" to deflect blame for the disaster away from them and onto fans. BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins tweets the PM says former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie needs to "face up to his own responsibilities" over their Hillsborough coverage.


    Frank Field MP says the report was "chilling" and must hold "huge lessons" for public services and the police. He says the information now accessable must be "carefully" thought about. He asks for the PM to visit the families and let them know what the "next step" is.


    Clive Betts MP for Sheffield South East makes an apology - he was leader of Sheffield City Council at the time of the disaster.

    Liverpool fan

    texts: As a Liverpool fan I remember the events of that day unfolding before me. It's taken 23 years of pain and tears to finally feel some justice for the 96 fans who lost their lives


    There've been a number of calls for the Sun to apologise for its "Truth" story. Just to remind ourselves, the then editor Kelvin McKenzie has already apologised for blaming reporters in Liverpool for the newspaper's Hillsborough coverage.


    The BBC's Norman Smith tweets: Calls in Commons for an apology in tomorrows Sun for its coverage of #Hillsborough


    And News International's executive chairman James Murdoch apologised for The Sun newspaper's "wrong coverage" of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

    Police officer

    texts: As a serving Merseyside police officer, then and now, who was present in the leppings lane end on the 15th of April 1989, I am deeply ashamed to be a police officer on this day. I do know however that this is not reflective of the Police I serve.

    BK, Liverpool

    texts: Merseyside MPs are doing the families of victims proud. HOC debate is difficult to watch but very important.


    Clive Betts says the very shocking findings that have been revealed show "how right it was" to establish a panel. He says he was present at Hillsborough that day, and was leader of Sheffield City Council at the time - "I therefore think it relevant that I reiterate today the unreserved apology on behalf of the city council for its failings in this terrible tragedy."


    The deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes, has also welcomed the findings of the Hillsborough report: "What today's evidence clearly does is vindicate, not just Liverpool Football Club and the families and the campaign - but all those who supported Liverpool and the people of Merseyside, in saying that football supporters on that day, behaved normally and they were abused and vilified without justification."


    Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi calls for the PM to consider "setting up a compensation fund" for the victims' families so they do not have to go to "great lengths" to get compensation.

    Gary Lineker

    tweets: Remember being in Barcelona watching the tragedy unfold. 23 years on we learn the truth. 23 YEARS!! A national disgrace!

    Sky News Glen O' Glaza

    tweets: It's very emotional in the House of Commons. Many MPs, esp from Merseyside, have lumps in throats & tears in their eyes #hillsborough


    David Cameron says that by "new evidence" he refers to evidence which has been made official today.

    Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    #Hillsborough Panel: Access to Cabinet documents reveals that in an exchange about her [Margaret Thatcher's] Government "welcoming the report". The Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher expressed her concern that the "broad thrust" of the Taylor Report constituted a "devastating criticism of the police".

    Matt Jones

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay today is a landmark for Liverpool the city, the club, the fans and the families . It should not have taken this long.


    It looks like the press conference by the independent panel has been delayed further. We will bring you the latest lines when the press call begins.


    Chris Bryant MP says "surely to God the role of the media in all this should have been to uncover the corruption and the lies" not to "perpetuate the corruption in the police".

    1349: Breaking News

    The press conference by the independent panel is now beginning. Coverage on the BBC News Channel. It begins with a period of silence to remember the victims.

    1350: Breaking News

    Here's a link to the full report, which has been published online


    MP Chris Bryant says Kelvin McKenzie should say the "simple word sorry unambiguously". "Surely to god the Sun tomorrow should just say sorry - surely to god Kelvin McKenzie - if he goes on any media outlets at all - should be saying sorry. And for that matter, surely the Spectator should be saying sorry too."

    David Boydon, Leicester

    emails: I am trying to imagine the clash and scale of emotions the families must be feeling today. Impossible.


    Nine people from the independent panel are facing questions from the media. Among them are the Bishop of Liverpool James Jones, former news broadcaster Peter Sissons and information disclosure expert Christine Gifford.


    The House of Commons debate has now finished. You can read more about today's report here.


    The BBC's Judith Moritz asks the panel whether News International submitted any documentation to the panel. Bishop Jones says that they did, however does not elaborate further.

    David Thomas

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay As a city we unite today. Everton fans aswell


    The panel says the term "organised conspiracy" is a "big word with a big meaning".

    Kevin P.

    texts: As a fan that was at Hillsborough on the day I would like to thank everyone around this country and the world who kept faith with all of us who have known this truth for 23 years. Great respect to the dignity and fortitude of all the berieved families and thanks to Andy Burnham who took the full brunt of our anger at anfield in 2010.


    BBC Radio 5live reporter Nick Garnett tweets: #Hillsborough panel says it would be very wary of saying there was a conspiracy to cover up government involvement in any smear of Liverpool fans.

    Matt, Bristol

    texts: Have been a passionate Liverpool supporter all my life, always knew that there was some cover-up but never this bad. Some truth at last for those affected - it's painful to hear and talk about Hillsborough again but we must get to the truth. It won't bring their loved ones back but now we have truth, can we have Justice for the '96 too please?!?

    1403: Breaking News

    The BBC's Nick Ravenscroft asks the panel how many people might have been saved if there had been a better emergency service response. Dr Bill Kirkup confirms that 28 people didn't have obstruction of bloodflow and 16 had heart and lung function. He concludes that there is evidence that 41 people in total had the potential to survive beyond 3.15.


    Panel: "Far from the assumption that only a few [police] statements were reviewed... 116 out of 164 statements were amended to remove or alter comments that were directly unfavourable to South Yorkshire Police"

    Elizabeth Tuck

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay #jft96 just hrd 41 people had the potential to have survived Hillsb by the panel at the Cathedral - absolute disgrace.

    John W, Liverpool

    emails: We must not forget the ordinary people of Sheffield who opened their doors to us that day to call home to relatives....after all these years thank you again

    Tom Newbould

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay As a training policeman and Liverpool fan, I am deeply appauled by the actions of S.Yorkshire police that day. #JFT96


    Bishop James Jones: There are other steps that need to be taken before the Hillsborough can be considered a "cover-up". He says it is not for the independent panel to decide.

    Matthew Maslen, Devon

    emails: Hillsborough shows us why time and effort has been invested in Health and Safety legislation. Those who bemoan 'elf and safety' should realise that if modern standards were followed this tragedy would never have happened.

    Merseyside-born footballer Joey Barton

    tweets: Just sat alone, read the report and cried my eyes out. I dont know how anyone could do this to innocent people. Its wrong on so many levels.

    Malcolm Matthieson

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay The truth is now out, it should not of taken this long. All football fans applaud those that fought so long for this day.

    Breaking News Liverpool-born footballer Wayne Rooney

    tweets: Everyone involved in the cover up of hillborough is a disgrace and needs [to be] punished


    Just to recap so far on what the independent panel have said. Of the 96 people that died, 41 people had the potential to survive beyond the 15:15 time of death imposed at the inquest. Of those 41 victims, 28 people had no obstruction to blood flow and 16 had heart and lung function.

    James, Manchester

    texts: I was an 8 year old Evertonian in a mainly Liverpool FC family and I will never forget that tragic day and the look on my mothers face whilst the terrible events unfolded. Hopefully there will be some justice now after these disgraceful truths that have come to light today.

    Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger

    tweets: The truth is told. Harrowing details in the #Hillsborough report. My thoughts are with the families and survivors. #jft96

    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    BBC politics correspondent Norman Smith tweets: "All government documents from Thatcher government relating to #Hillsborough should be made public - Labour's Andy Burnham."


    Bishop Jones: "In the process of the panel's work, on more than one occasion, the families [of the victims] have said to me it's the first time they feel they have been taken seriously."

    Breaking News

    BBC's Nick Garnett tweets: "Statements made by South Yorkshire's ambulance service were also altered says #Hillsborough panel to deflect criticism."


    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay As one of 28k Forest fans there that day, this is heartbreaking. Could so easily have been us, or anyone, that day. RIP 96


    After the press conference, the families of the victims will be able to interrogate members of the panel in a question and answer session. It is not clear whether this will be behind closed doors. We'll update you when we can.

    George, a Liverpool fan in Paris

    texts: Even as a Liverpool fan who wasn't even born when Hillsboro happened I cried when reading the report due to the emotion and injustice that surrounds the events of that infamous day. Such a great relief for the club and this country that the truth is now out.


    Professor Phil Scraton on the panel: "To see every member of the families standing and applauding the work of the panel, to me that was a clear indication that we have done the right thing."

    Stephen Edinburgh

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay This is a day about the families of those who died, and should not be an excuse for another political witch hunt #burnham

    Breaking News Andy, Liverpool

    texts: As a survivor of Hillsborough, I would like to thank the people of Sheffield, the Notts Forest fans and now, finally, someone for giving us The Real Truth. Well done to the Panel. We are forever in your debt.

    Matt, Lincoln

    texts: Nice sentiment from David Cameron and co., but shouldn't the apologies be coming from those responsible? South Yorkshire Police, Margaret Thatcher and her government, Kelvin Mackenzie etc.


    The Independent Panel press conference is now over.


    A summary of the reaction to Hillsborough files can now be found on the BBC News website.

    Joel Dunn-Wilson

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay This is a major day in history not just for Liverpool, but for the entire country. The truth is finally out. YNWA [You'll Never Walk Alone].


    tweets: @bbc_haveyoursay It could have been any of us, anytime. Herded like cattle into pens. We had no rights. NONE. Not even the right to be safe.


    A reminder of the main points:

    • The panel reported that South Yorkshire police amended statements to remove negative comments about the policing operation
    • The tragedy was not caused by alcohol-fuelled ticketless fans
    • 41 people, declared dead at 15:15 by the coroner, had the potential to survive
    • The Sun's source for their expose "The Truth" came from a Sheffield news agency and a local MP, who were fed information by South Yorkshire police.
    1451: Breaking News

    The families of the Hillsborough victims are now giving their reaction to the panel's report to the media at Liverpool's Anglian cathedral.

    1453: Breaking News

    The families say they feel "totally vindicated" by the report's findings. They say they have been accused of being "vengeful, spiteful and looking for scapegoats".


    Families say the unreserved apology they received from David Cameron in the Commons was "a surprise".


    Families say the "truth is out today and the search for justice starts tomorrow". They add they are "not looking for scapegoats but looking for accountability".

    Mohit Pasricha

    tweets: @BBC_haveyoursay Reading the report & it's shameful & utterly disgusting. This is a day to remember those who left & never came back #YNWA


    Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster can finally rest in peace, after the official report said Liverpool fans were not to blame.


    Representatives from the families say they "wanted to make sure the fans was completely exhonerated". They say the police "failed in their duty" to protect and serve Liverpool fans.

    Dan, Nottingham

    texts: As a 10yr old Forest fan at the time at the game, I have been left numb at the callousness of officials and professions (police, ambulance service et al) to shift blame. Justice is still not found until people are held accountable.

    1503: Breaking News

    Liverpool FC release a statement: "After 23 long and painful years, our fans have finally been fully exonerated of all blame. Today, the world knows what we have always known, that Liverpool fans were not just innocent on that terrible day but that there was reprehensible and hurtful misrepresentation of the truth."


    Trevor Hicks, one of the family representives, reveals three people from among the families fainted when the findings of the report were revealed.


    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay the city of Liverpool united, but also, as a York City fan, football fans across the country are united with you #JFT96


    emails: I was 10 year old in the forest end watching this unfold. To this day I still have nightmares. I'm 33 year old now and have never been to a football match. I have severe depression over the years and it all goes back to that day. The police should hold there heads in shame they have destroyed some many more lives then the people who died that day.


    A two minute silence has begun.

    1507: Breaking News

    Kelvin MacKenzie, who was the editor of The Sun at the time of the Hillsborough tragedy and who wrote the headline The Truth, has offered his "profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that headline".


    The families have branded the post-Hillsborough fall out "a disgrace to the system itself". They said many officials knew the information revealed by the panel 23 years ago. They add that the families have been put through "pain, heartache and mud slinging... they were the liars and we were the truthful ones, the innocents... We will always be the losers at Hillsborough".

    Josh Power

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay as a US citizen and fairly new footy fan, my thoughts go out to families of the 96 and all LFC fans. So young. So tragic.


    TV coverage shows the people of Liverpool standing in silence


    Trevor Hicks said the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report revealed shocking "depths of depravity" in the way the police tried to blame the fans after the disaster.


    The silence briefly interrupted the families' press conference, which has now resumed.


    The two-minute silence was held at 15:06 BST, the time the match at Hillsborough was suspended by the referee. It was brought to a close by applause from onlookers gathered outside the cathedral, and a ship's horn from the Mersey.


    Trevor Hicks, who lost two daughters a Hillsborough, has called for those involved in the alleged cover-up to "resign and stand up and apologise".

    Tabitha Jones, Liverpool/ London

    texts: So proud of Dad and the Panel. God Bless all the families and Thank God for today.

    Peter, Stanford Le Hope

    emails: My sister was one of the victims.... What now makes me angry is that many people have known everything reported was wrong and they have waited this long to still the emotions of a whole lot of people again. I am absolutely livid that knowing all this they couldn't have said sorry earlier and let the families of all those concerned have some piece a long time ago.


    Trevor Hicks says the families "knew nothing about the incompetencies of the ambulance service until today". Mr Hicks said they are "staggered" by the level of incompetencies, however he doesn't blame "the guys on the shop floor". Other members of the family panel do not feel the same.


    Trevor Hicks says former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie's apology to the families of the victims is "too little, too late. The man is low-life".

    Julian Dugard

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay whatever your team allegiance around the Uk and indeed the world, everyone is united with LFC today #JFT96. RIP


    More from Kelvin MacKenzie's apology: "I too was totally misled. Twenty three ago I was handed a piece of copy from a reputable news agency in Sheffield in which a senior police officer and a senior local MP were making serious allegations against fans in the stadium. I had absolutely no reason to believe that these authority figures would lie and deceive over such a disaster."


    Kelvin MacKenzie was the editor at The Sun when the paper ran a front page story blaming fans for the Hillsborough tragedy. It had the headline "The Truth", followed by three sub-headlines: "Some fans picked pockets of victims", "Some fans urinated on the brave cops" and "Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life".

    Eddy, Nottingham

    texts: As a Forest fan and someone who's wife is from Liverpool I have been in emotional turmoil today. The people in charge that day and afterwards should be paraded through the streets to feel the wrath of the population.


    Michael Mansfield QC agrees with journalists that Hillsborough is the "biggest cover-up in British history".

    1532: Breaking News

    Speaking on the BBC News Channel, David Crompton, current chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, "profoundly apologises" to both the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims and Liverpool fans in general.


    Chief constable David Crompton adds that South Yorkshire police officers at the time "lost control" and admitted "lies were told about what happened".


    Chief Constable David Crompton: "Some grave errors were made in this case but it would be unfair to widen it out any further."


    Chief Constable David Crompton says the police statements were amended after officers sought "independent legal advice". He adds that "people thought it was the right course of action at the time" but concedes time has shown it was not.

    Rachel McCann

    tweets: @bbc_haveyoursay I was 4 when my dad went to Hillsborough. Too young to understand then but since thankful I kept him. Now we have the truth


    South Yorkshire police get the date of the Hillsborough disaster wrong in their official statement. They say the disaster happened on the "18th April 1989", but say further down the document it happened on the correct date, the 15th April 1989.


    And here's that statement in full: "On 18th April 1989 [sic], 96 of the Liverpool fans went to Hillsborough to watch the FA Cup Semi Final and died as a result of the disaster. On that day South Yorkshire Police failed the victims and families. The police lost control. In the immediate aftermath senior officers sought to change the record of events. Disgraceful lies were told which blamed the Liverpool fans for the disaster."


    The second half of the police statement: "Statements were altered which sought to minimise police blame. These actions have caused untold pain and distress for over 23 years. I am profoundly sorry for the way the force failed on 15th April 1989 and I am doubly sorry for the injustice that followed and I apologise to the families of the 96 and Liverpool fans. South Yorkshire Police is a very different place in 2012 from what it was 23 years ago and we will be fully open and transparent in helping to find answers to the questions posed by the Panel today."


    Liverpool FC managing director Ian Ayre expresses "anger, sadness and pride" following release of the report

    Breaking News Ex--Liverpool FC manager Kenny Dalglish

    tweets: "Very positive outcome. 23 yrs waiting for the truth next step justice"

    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    There is widespread respect for the way David Cameron didn't in any way play down the significance of the report - especially in the light of the removal of negative comments about the police operation.


    Sheffield City Council Chief Executive John Mothersole has issued a statement in which he "sincerely apologises" for the actions of the council at the time.


    South Yorkshire police have now corrected the error in the first line of their statement. It now correctly states the Hillsborough disaster took place on the 15th April 1989, and not the 18th April 1989.

    Charlie Clarke, Cork, Ireland

    emails: I am appalled to learn what really happened in Hillsborough. The families have now been vindicated. I sincerely hope that some people are brought to justice and made accountable for this tragedy. My own country has a very poor track record at accountability for things like this.

    Members of the public pay their respects at the Liverpool Hillsborough memorial

    Members of the public have been paying their respects at the Hillsborough memorial at Liverpool's Anfield stadium throughout the day.

    1613: Breaking News Sally

    texts: My husband and I managed to get out of Leppings Lane end just as crush started. I'll never forget watching desperate faces through the fence, whilst screaming at police to open the gates. Apologies are not enough. Names need to be named.

    1616: Ed Thomas North of England Correspondent, BBC News

    The vigil due to be held later this afternoon is not just for the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims, but for all of the people of Liverpool effected by the disaster.

    1623: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

    says: "Speaking as someone whose family directly suffered, I know the pain and hurt will remain"


    Gerrard's 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley died in the Hillsborough disaster.


    Here's Steven Gerrard's full statement published on Liverpool FC's website: "The courage and dignity shown by the Hillsborough families and survivors is an example to all of us. For 23 years they have fought for truth and justice on behalf of the victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy and all Liverpool supporters. Victims and survivors suffered not just on April 15, 1989 in Sheffield, but for over two decades afterwards with the shameful slandering of their actions by people who abused their position and power. Speaking as someone whose family directly suffered, I know the pain and hurt will remain. However, I hope that today's report helps bring some comfort, now that everyone knows what happened on that day."

    Former Liverpool player Stan Collymore

    tweets: Reading every page of the findings. Honestly can't believe what I'm reading. Anyone should be terrified about the level of cover up/smears.


    Speaking just now on BBC Radio 5live, Trevor Hicks, whose two daughters were killed at Hillsborough, says he is "pleased the truth has come out" regarding the tragedy and believes the families have been vindicated.


    Trevor Hicks adds that the families of the 96 victims are "surprised at the lengths people have gone to to deflect the blame, totally unfairly, onto the fans". He believes today is a "very special day in British history, not just for the Hillsborough families but for the state recognising its wider responsibilities".


    Trevor Hicks ends by saying it is "almost certain" the families will push for the quashing of the inquest verdict.


    BBC Scotland have spoken to a South Yorkshire ambulance driver who has welcomed the findings of the Hillsborough report. Tony Edwards was in the only ambulance that made it to the Leppings Lane end of the pitch. He says there were failures in the emergency response to the disaster, and a new inquest is now needed to find out what happened. He says he felt abandoned on the day of the tragedy, and wants to know who was responsible.


    On the 20th year anniversary of the disaster, ambulance driver Tony Edwards spoke to BBC Newsnight about his experience on the pitch. He said the police tried to prevent him from driving onto the pitch as fans were "fighting", but Tony drove on in defiance. He said in 2009 he believed the truth about Hillsborough was "covered up".


    The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, tells BBC News the Hillsborough report is a "great relief" to the city that finally the truth is known. He says the city's name was "besmirched by people in authority, the media, by people who tried to conspire and cover up the truth".


    Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, adds that the city holds former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie "in utter contempt" after causing the city "a great deal of grief". He says Mr Mackenzie "will never be forgiven" for his headlines.


    David Cameron says London mayor Boris Johnson and others must now to "come to their senses" over Hillsborough. Mr Johnson was the editor at the Spectator magazine when a 2004 article saying "drunken fans" were partly to blame for the disaster was published.

    Alan Best in Cobham

    emails: I read the report today and found myself so moved as to be unable to rationalise why and how such despicable hurt could have been caused by so many people in responsible positions. I am ashamed and disgusted at the administrative and political elite of this country we live in.

    Ian Mackenzie in Liverpool

    emails: Apologies accepted. I am confident that, in the end, commonsense and justice will prevail. I'm an optimist, brought up on the belief that if you wait to the end of the story, you get to see the good people live happily ever after. Justice for the 96; Justice for the families. YNWA.


    Speaking on the BBC News Channel, ex-Liverpool football player John Barnes, who was playing for the Reds on the day of the tragedy, said he was pleased the families had been vindicated and that the truth had finally come out. He says its a "sad siutation that it's taken 23 years for the truth to come out" and that Liverpool fans have been "tarnished by the lies and accusations thrown at them".

    1730: Breaking News

    Crowds are now starting to gather outside St George's Hall in central Liverpool for a vigil in honour of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.


    The vigil is due to last until 19:00 BST. The union flag above St George's Hall is flying at half-mast, and a banner saying "We will never walk along" has been hung from the columns of the building.


    A special piece of music, commissioned for the vigil, is currently being played.

    David from Belfast

    emails: I was working in Liverpool at the time. My friend and I came back into an almost deserted town centre bar crowds gathered around TV shop windows. It was hard to believe what we were looking at, even to someone hardended by 20 years of The Troubles at home. It is still a day I have never forgotten.


    Here's the scene outside St George's Hall, Liverpool, where the vigil is taking place.

    John Cook from Merseyside

    emails: I was at the game with my dad. Luckily we lived to see this day. My other fellow Liverpool fans weren't so lucky. That day is always in my mind and heart. Now it's time to go after those responsible.

    Ady in Manchester

    emails: As a serving police officer I am embarrassed and ashamed to have worn the same uniform as those in South Yorkshire who thought more about themselves than those who lost their lives, their families and friends. I hope those who lied and distorted the truth can sleep at night.


    That's all from the Live Page on the day an independent report into the Hillsborough disaster was released. You can keep up to date with further developments on this story here.


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