Hillsborough verdict proves justice is not guaranteed to us all

Legal Searchsource: The National
published: 28 April 2016

It was the kind of speech that stops you in your tracks. Not least because the powerful, emotional, occasionally snarling tirade against every institution condemned at the Hillsborough inquest was delivered by an MP. Not the kind of person who tends to get hot under the collar about very much these days.

Indeed, as Secretary of State for Media, Culture and Sport, Andy Burnham was heckled by Liverpool fans commemorating the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, in which 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at an FA Cup semi-final.

According to a newspaper account of the 2009 commemoration service: “A brooding discontent began to sound around the ground as Burnham’s first words emerged from the public address system.“

‘This,’ he said of Hillsborough, ‘was an entirely man-made disaster, a horror not diminished by the passage of time.’ But almost before he could complete his first sentence, the heckles and jeers had formed themselves into a lengthy and prolonged mass chant of “Justice for the 96”. The politician was drowned out.”

Yesterday in the Commons, however, Andy Burnham was heard in silence.

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