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Hillsborough: New Inquests Move Step Closer
The Attorney General has paved the way for new inquests into the deaths of 96 football fans in the Hillsborough tragedy by applying for the verdicts of the original hearing to be quashed.
The move comes after a report into the 1989 disaster revealed a cover-up that attempted to shift the blame for the tragedy on to its victims.
Dominic Grieve told the House of Commons: "I believe that these deaths, arising as they do from a common chain of events, should all be considered afresh.
"However, before reaching any final view on the scope of the application, I want to give the families affected the opportunity to make any representations in respect of the family member or members they lost.
"I will therefore be in contact with each family seeking views."
Mr Grieve said any criminal proceedings emerging from the fallout of the Hillsborough Panel Report, which said many of the victims could have survived and scores of police statements were altered to prevent criticism of officers, could affect when the new inquests could take place.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has said a "large number" of current and former officers will be investigated over their actions on the day of the tragedy and during the subsequent alleged cover-up.
Liverpool MP Steve Rotheram said the move "marks one of the biggest steps forward in the fight for justice for the families in 23 years".
"The undeniable fact is that the original inquest was unsound and this application, if successful, will mean that evidence will be able to be heard after the 3.15pm cut off imposed by the original Coroner in the 1989 inquests," he said.
"For the first time in over two decades, all the evidence can now be reviewed into the disaster and potentially a new verdict recorded on the death certificates of the deceased."