Brown confirms release of Hillsborough documents at PMQs

April 23, 2009 at 6:35 am Leave a comment

pmq
By Katie Davies

Unreleased information about the Hillsborough disaster will be released to the public, the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday.

At Prime Minister’s Question Time Gordon Brown  told the MP for Halton, Derek Twigg, that files from the police, health authorities as well as the Government would be forthcoming.

This follows Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s previous pledge to make the data available to families within months.

Mr Brown told the House of Commons: “I am sure the whole house on its return will wish to repeat the sympathies that have been sent to all the families who lost loved ones as a result of the tragedy at Hillsborough.

“96 people lost their lives on that day and the inquiry found that decisions had to be taken so that something like this never happened again.

“I well understand even after all these years that the feelings of the families are such that they want to be sure that everything possible was done.

“We will look to do all we can to release whatever information is available to the families.

“I have to say that the Taylor report was a very full inquiry and there was a further inquiry after 1997.

“If this is a means by which we can help families in difficult times, even after these years. We will look very carefully at what we can do.”

Gordon Brown has defended himself against the Conservatives’ charge that the country is on the edge of financial and moral bankruptcy following the Damian McBride saga.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, told the House:

“It is about time this Prime Minister realised that as well as bringing his country to the brink of financial bankruptcy he has brought his party to moral bankruptcy as well. Now the truth if you look at the facts this is going to be the most deep and painful recession since the war.”

The statement came after Mr Brown reminded MPs that Mr Cameron was a chief financial adviser during recession in the 1990s.

The Leader of the Opposition replied: “Perhaps on another occasion we can talk about your senior advisors and what they have been up to.”

Mr Brown responded to a demand from MP Nadine Dorries that he apologise to her directly for the smears against her included in the emails his Downing Street adviser sent out.

The Prime Minister told the House: “I have said sorry that this has happened and I have also written to her (Dorries) personally and I think at the same time we should all say that what happened has no part to play in the politics of this country. It is wholly inappropriate and unacceptable and that is why there will be new rules to govern the behaviour of political advisers.”

Mr Brown also defended the level of borrowing about to be announced in the Budget, stating that other countries would increase levels as well.

“We will continue to do what we can to help people into work and to stay in their jobs that’s why we have extended tax credits, that is why we have provided 30,000 more apprenticeships in our country.

“We are prepared to spend the money and invest it. There is not much point the Conservatives saying they want to do something about unemployment when they oppose every measure we are taking to deal with it.”

A political delegation from the UK will be sent out to Sri Lanka to pressure the government to provide humanitarian aid and end the conflict which has claimed so many in the country.

Gordon Brown told the House of Commons he believed that the President would agree to a group of UK representatives visiting the country.

“There are many members of this house who are very concerned and dismayed by events in Sri Lanka,” he said.

“I and the Foreign Secretary are doing what we can to press the Sri Lankan government on the need for humanitarian aid and for a political settlement. We have asked for a delegation from the UK to assess what humanitarian help is available and should be made available.

“I believe that the president will be prepared now to take a delegation on a cross party basis from the UK. To pave the way a minister will go to Sri Lanka later this week.”

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