Sheffield MP, Louise Haigh, responded to the statement in the House of Commons by Home Secretary Theresa May on Wednesday (27th April) as she laid out the verdict which exonerated fans after a twenty seven year battle for justice by the families of the 96 victims at the Hillsborough disaster.
Responding to the Home Secretary, Louise said she feared the culture of institutional defensiveness which directly contributed to the prolonged battle for justice by the families of the 96 was not unique to South Yorkshire Police and said urged the Home Secretary to look at that as part of her 'Lessons Learnt' review in the aftermath of the inquest.
Louise specifically called for the practice of police sitting with each other and conferring before providing written to statements in line with the IPCC recommendation. The Hillsborough Independent Panel found that 164 statements had been changed in the aftermath of the disaster in order to lessen blame for the force, and that South Yorkshire Police made strenuous efforts to deflect blame onto the fans.
Commenting, Louise Haigh said:
"I want to give my thanks to the Home Secretary for her excellent statement and thank her for the work she is doing on Orgreave and look forward to hearing her conclusions"
"Mr Speaker having served as a Special Constable in the Metropolian Police Service, I recognise the institutional defensive spoken of by the families and I fear that it is not a problem unique to South Yorkshire. So will the Home Secretary as part of her review on lessons learnt look at the practice of ending officers conferring before providing written statements."
Watch the contribution here