SHADOW HOME Secretary Andy Burnham will use his Labour conference speech today to underline his backing for major legal changes following the Hillsborough inquests,
Mr Burnham, a key figure in the campaign to unearth the truth of what happened in the Hillsborough disaster, will repeat his call for victims’ families to be given more legal support at inquests.
He was angered by the sums of money spent legal advice to the police at the Hillsborough inquests compared to that of the families.
He will say: “Let’s make Hillsborough a moment of real change and this, finally, a country of justice. A country where truth and justice are the equal right of all; no longer linked to class and connections.
“Only this week, families of those who died in the Birmingham pub bombings, and who await a new inquest, were denied legal support. New injustices are still happening all the time. Things are no better for bereaved families at inquests today than for the Hillsborough families in 1990.
“Many still get no legal support and cuts to legal aid have made that even worse. They are still thrown into courtrooms, raw with grief, only to find themselves up against an army of top QCs, hired by public bodies, who question them as if it were they who are on trial. How much longer are we going to allow public money to be spent on the telling of lies?
“For the rest of my time in Parliament, I will fight for a Hillsborough Law to rebalance the justice system in our country, away from the Establishment and decisively in favour of ordinary people. A Law that says no public bodies can distort or withhold the truth at inquests; that guarantees all bereaved families a level playing field and equal legal funding.”