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Newburn, Tim


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The Guardian - United Kingdom | 12/09/2012

Politicians shirked duties in Hillsborough inquest

According to a report presented on Wednesday on the mass panic in Sheffield's Hillsborough Stadium in 1989 in which 96 people died, rescue workers bear partial responsibility for a number of deaths and the police wrongly pinned blame on the fans. The liberal daily The Guardian asks to what extent the government was also to blame: "Yes, we now have evidence that senior government figures were misinformed by senior police officers and by others. The question that remains, however, is how closely did they question any of the police intelligence and advice they received and, indeed, how closely did they want to question it? What we should require of our political leaders is enough integrity and independence of mind always to treat the briefings they receive with a judicious scepticism. It now seems most unlikely, as many will have long assumed, that there was any such scepticism in Downing Street or cabinet in 1989. Certainly, there was enough of a sense of a closing of the ranks to make it feel that there was no appetite for full disclosure of what really took place on that Saturday afternoon."

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