UK & World News

  • 25 April 2014, 11:03

Hillsborough Disaster Slurs 'From Whitehall'

Relatives of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster say claims government computers were used to post insulting messages about the tragedy are "deeply upsetting".

The Cabinet Office says its urgently investigating the reports in the Liverpool Echo newspaper.

It claims anonymous alterations to the Wikipedia page about the tragedy were made from IP addresses used by Whitehall departments, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Treasury and the Office of the Solicitor General.

The newspaper said revisions to the online encyclopaedia began five years ago on the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, and again in 2012.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: "We thank the Liverpool Echo for bringing this to our attention.

"This is a matter that we will treat with the utmost seriousness and are making urgent inquiries.

"No one should be in any doubt of the Government's position regarding the Hillsborough disaster and its support for the families of the 96 victims and all those affected by the tragedy."

Ninety-six Liverpool fans were killed andanother 766 people injured on overcrowded terracing atthe Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield at an FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

Among the reported amendments to the HillsboroughWikipedia page was an insertion saying: "Blame Liverpool fans" - deeply upsetting to victims' families who have been campaigning for more than 20 years to establish the truth behind the tragedy.

Margaret Aspinall, from the Hillsborough Family Support Group, told the Echo: "I don't even know how to react, it's just so sad.

"I hear something like that and it upsets me a great deal, it makes me incredibly sad. I'm glad somebody has found out about it but I'm frightened to be honest that we haven't known until now."

Many relatives refused to accept that the fans' deaths were accidental and accused police of covering up exactly what happened.

In a victory for victims' families who never accepted the official version of events, the High Court in 2012quashed the original coroner's verdicts and called for fresh inquests to be held due to new evidence.