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Hillsborough stadium disaster: lessons that must be learnt

The review, entitled ‘The Patronising Disposition of Unaccountable Power’, is aimed at ensuring the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families is not repeated.

It was commissioned by the now-Prime Minister following the conclusions of the fresh Hillsborough inquests in April 2016 so that the families’ perspective was not lost.

Bishop James, who is the Home Secretary’s advisor on Hillsborough, met the families in both group sessions and one-to-one as he compiled his report.

In the review, he urges the Home Secretary to help ensure that those responsible for national institutions listen to what the experiences of the Hillsborough families say about how they should conduct themselves when faced by families bereaved by public tragedy.

Bishop James published his report on 1 November 2017. He makes 25 points of learning. These are shown in chapter 5 of his report. Bishop James has highlighted 3 points of learning in particular that there should be:

They include:

Bishop James also welcomes the commitment in the Queen’s Speech to create an independent public advocate to act for bereaved families after a public disaster and to support them at public inquests. He stands ready to assist in this important work.

The Right Reverend Bishop James Jones KBE said:

Over the last two decades as I have listened to what the families have endured, a phrase has formed in my mind to describe what they have come up against whenever they have sought to challenge those in authority – ‘the patronising disposition of unaccountable power’. Those authorities have been in both the public and private sectors.

The Hillsborough families know that there are others who have found that when in all innocence and with a good conscience they have asked questions of those in authority on behalf of those they love, the institution has closed ranks, refused to disclose information, used public money to defend its interests and acted in a way that was both intimidating and oppressive.

And so the Hillsborough families’ struggle to gain justice for the 96 has a vicarious quality to it so that whatever they can achieve in calling to account those in authority is of value to the whole nation.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:

I am grateful to Bishop James Jones for undertaking this important piece of work. His thoughtful and considered report raises important points.

The government will now carefully study the 25 points of learning and we will provide a full response in due course.

You can read Hillsborough_Report_2017_FINAL_WEB_updated




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