MP in call to strip Sir Irvine Patnick of knighthood

Sir Irvine Patnick Sir Irvine Patnick said he had been given "wholly inaccurate" information by police

A former lord mayor of Liverpool and now Labour MP has called for the former Tory MP Sir Irvine Patnick to be stripped of his knighthood.

Sir Irvine, who represented Sheffield Hallam between 1987 and 1997, was knighted in 1980.

But he was later confirmed as a source for the Sun in smearing Liverpool fans after the Hillsborough disaster.

Labour's Steve Rotherham said scrapping "Patnick's knighthood" was a job for the forfeiture committee.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died after the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

Speaking in the Commons, Steve Rotheram, Liverpool Walton MP, said the honour should be examined.

Sir Irvine was criticised in the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report on the Hillsborough disaster published on 12 September.

It found that the sources for the Sun's story which had the headline "The Truth" was a news agency reporting conversations with South Yorkshire Police and Irvine Patnick, the then MP for Sheffield Hallam.

'Shift blame onto fans'

Sir Irvine has already apologised for his comments saying he was "deeply and sincerely sorry" and insisted he had been given "wholly inaccurate" information by police officers.

Mr Rotheram said Sir Irvine had first questioned the behaviour of Liverpool fans in the Commons just two days after the tragedy.

He said: "The April 17 1989 Hansard makes for particularly interesting reading.

"It was clear even then that there were those in this place seeking to shift the blame onto the fans for the disaster.

"No one more ignorant to the facts than Irvine Patnick, the then Tory MP for Sheffield Hallam, who asked the home secretary to 'examine the part that alcohol played in the disaster'.

"Why, on what basis, did he ask that question?"

Mr Rotheram said: "I think if there was ever a job for the forfeiture committee, surely the scrapping of Patnick's knighthood would be it."

The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has also called for Sir Irvine to be stripped of his knighthood following the publication of the report.

Mr Anderson said he had "brought the Honours system into disrepute" and helped to bring "overwhelming misery" to the people of Liverpool.

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