This week I was proud to be one of the MP sponsors of the Hillborough Law which has been introduced by Andy Burnham as a 10-Minute Rule Bill. Officially known as the Public Authority (Accountability) Bill, it will make sure that the Government learns the lessons of the Hillsborough disaster so that no disaster victims or their families ever have to go through similar experiences.
At the first inquests in 1990, South Yorkshire Police were allowed to spend thousands of pounds on top lawyers to defend themselves. Meanwhile victims and their families received no such support and had to pay for legal representation on their own. This meant that the inquests were far more difficult and more painful than they had to be.
If passed the Public Authority (Accountability) Bill will make sure that ordinary people get a fair hearing at inquests by providing them with the same level of legal aid as the public bodies they are up against. The law will also make it illegal for those in public service to give misleading information at an inquest, punishable by a prison sentence.
The Hillsborough families have been waiting for justice for 27 years and are only now starting to get the answers they deserve. This law will help to ensure that no one faces such an uphill battle again by giving victims and their families the support and protections they need.
The bill will be given a second reading on 12 May. You can read about the law here - http://www.thehillsboroughlaw.com/