PM's Hillsborough claim 'delusional', campaigner Phil Scraton says

Phil Scraton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prof Scraton said it is "clear that we now live in a political climate where 'truth' no longer matters"

The prime minister's claim she "ensured justice for families of Hillsborough" is "delusional", veteran campaigner Phil Scraton said.

The academic and author, who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP) research team, said Theresa May's claim was "at worst... a culpable untruth".

The Home Office said the government was "proud" to have helped "right the wrongs of the past".

Ninety-six people died following a crush at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989.

Last year, an inquest jury concluded the fans were unlawfully killed.

Prof Scraton said the "inception, process and outcome" of the inquests "had nothing to do with Theresa May".


The author, whose book Hillsborough: The Truth is widely accepted as the definitive account of the disaster, refused an OBE in December in protest "at those who remained unresponsive" to help families and survivors.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the prime minister had been responding to Labour MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, Jonathan Reynolds, who asked whether she stood up for British values, following her failure to condemn Donald Trump's controversial travel ban.

Mrs May listed what she considered the achievements of her government and herself, adding: "And I ensured justice for the families of Hillsborough."

In the statement posted on an online forum called "Prime Minister, Hillsborough and 'post-truth'", Prof Scraton called it a "remarkable claim" and said "we now live in a political climate where 'truth' no longer matters".

"To witness a prime minister, her ego possibly inflated by extraordinary recent events in the United States, claiming that she ensured justice for families is, at best, delusional. At worst it is a culpable untruth," he said.

Image caption Louise Brookes, who lost her brother Andrew in the disaster, said Theresa May "never got justice for us at all"

He said that as home secretary when the High Court ordered new inquests into the disaster, "Theresa May had no option but to initiate a new criminal investigation and a full review by the Independent Police Complaints Commission."

"Establishing the truth of Hillsborough" was "the result of years of painstaking research and investigation," he added.

Families of the victims were also critical, saying it was disrespectful to those who campaigned for 27 years.

Louise Brookes, who lost her brother Andrew in the disaster, said: "She never got justice for us at all."

"The only people that got justice for the 96 are the HIP (Hillsborough Independent Panel) and Phil Scraton because without that HIP report, we would still be banging on the doors of the establishment."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The fight for justice after Hillsborough has taken far too long and it is the bravery and dedication of the families and survivors that has driven the quest for truth.

"We are proud of the role the government has played in helping to right the wrongs of the past, but we know there is still much work to do.

"And we will do all we can to ensure the disclosure of the truth about what happened at Hillsborough is followed by justice for the families."

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