Hillsborough petition talks to Heart

Brian Irvine, who started an e-petition to get the government to release cabinet papers about the disaster 22 years ago

An online petition calling for ministers to release Cabinet papers about the Hillsborough football disaster ahs hit 100,000 signatures - which is enough to mean it could be debated in Parliament.

Footballer Joey Barton backed the campaign on Twitter that boosted the number of supporters adding to the calls for the release of all documents about Margaret Thatcher's discussions on the 1989 tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans died in a crush.

Brian Irvine from Belfast set up the e-petition and has been talking to Heart.

Brian Irvine talks to Heart's Andy Downton

Under the Government's new e-petition rules the Commons backbench business committee must consider allotting time for a debate on any campaign that attracts more than 100,000 supporters.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "The e-petition has now reached 100,000 signatures and the Government will notify the Backbench Business Committee in the House of Commons in order that the Committee can consider its suitability for debate when Parliament returns in September.

"The e-petition will remain live, and people will be able to continue adding their signatures. The Government will respond to those who have signed the e-petition in due course.''

A spokesman for the Hillsborough Independent Panel said: "Following recent media coverage of the Cabinet Office's decision to appeal the release of Cabinet Office papers concerning the Hillsborough disaster, the Hillsborough Independent Panel affirms its independence of government in carrying out its research, publishing an analytical report and establishing a comprehensive public archive of documents and other materials.

"The panel is grateful for the continuing support of the Hillsborough families in taking forward its unique and important work."