Hillsborough: Application to quash inquests next month

Anne Williams' son Kevin was killed 23 years ago in the Hillsborough football stadium disaster, aged just 15

An application to quash the Hillsborough inquest verdicts will be made next month, the Attorney General has announced.

But Dominic Grieve said he could not speed up a new inquest into the death of Kevin Williams, whose mother, Anne, is terminally ill.

Mr Grieve told the Commons he had made "good progress" in drawing up the High Court application.

He told MPs: "I expect to make that application in December."

Mr Grieve said he would not make a separate application to fast-track 15-year-old Kevin's inquest.

Speeding up his inquest is being considered for a Parliamentary debate.

An e-petition has received more than 100,000 signatures which means it is automatically referred to the House of Commons for consideration.

Mrs Williams, who set up the Hope for Hillsborough campaign for new inquests for Hillsborough victims, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Mr Grieve said although he was "particularly troubled" to hear of her ill health, his duty was to act in the public interest of all the victims.

'Can't short cut'

He was asked during House of Commons questions about a fresh inquest into Kevin's death in the 1989 disaster.

In response, Mr Grieve told MPs he recognised the public backing for the case to be "accelerated" but said the evidence supporting a new inquest into his death was the same for all the other victims.

Mr Grieve said: "I will do everything I can to take this process forward as quickly as possible, but I have to consult properly.

"A single application is in the wider public interest.

"There are a number of things which I simply can't short cut. I'm endeavouring to do it as fast as possible and I hope I can stick to the timetable I've identified."

He added there were "some criminal investigations which might have an impact on the time scale".

Mrs Williams, from Chester, said her diagnosis had added an urgency to the inquest.

"I'm very poorly; I would love to be able to see Kevin's inquest.

"I don't want special treatment but he has got the evidence there.

"The evidence has always been there and three attorney generals have let me down."

Mr Grieve called for the original inquests to be quashed after the Independent Hillsborough Panel Report, which found police and emergency services had made "strenuous attempts" to deflect the blame for the disaster - in which 96 people died - on to fans.

The independent panel revealed 164 police statements had been altered - 116 of them to remove or change negative comments about the policing of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Sheffield stadium in April 1989.

The panel also found that 41 of the 96 who had died had had the "potential to survive".

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