Hillsborough: MPs united in shame and sorrow

Gone was the noise. Gone the partisanship. Gone the politics.

This was one of those rare moments when hundreds of MPs packed into the House of Commons to speak as one - to express their anger and their shame.

First, though, they listened in silence - broken only by occasional gasps of shock or cries of shame - as the prime minister read out the verdict which he had been handed hours earlier.

Government - at the time and since - had not, he said, done enough to challenge the double injustice faced by the victims, left unprotected by the state and then blamed for the tragedy which cost them their lives. He was profoundly sorry - a word given more power by how rare it is to say it at all, let alone with such force.

It was an apology echoed by Ed Miliband who praised the Hillsborough families for taking every chance to "speak the truth to power ...but the powerful did not hear".

One who did was the former Culture Secretary Andy Burnham who - though a lifelong Everton fan - listened to the families from the red half of Liverpool too. He set up the inquiry which reported today.

Amongst those who spoke were MPs who'd been at the game and those, like the Wirral South MP, Alison McGovern, for whom the emotions were still raw 23 years on and who struggled to keep her composure.

This was not a day when many wanted to ask why so few in power had for so long left unchallenged the distortions of the police and The Sun and some politicians themselves. That day is sure to follow soon.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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