Hillsborough petition hits 100,000 signatures

An online petition calling for ministers to release Cabinet papers about the Hillsborough football disaster hit 100,000 signatures. It means it's enough to trigger a debate in Parliament.

People signed the petition which called for the release of all documents about Margaret Thatcher's discussions on the 1989 tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

The petition follows a ruling by the information commissioner Christopher Graham that the papers should now be made public.

The Cabinet Office has said it will appeal against the decision in order to allow the Hillsborough Independent Panel, established by the previous government to look into the circumstances and aftermath of the disaster, to oversee the disclosure of documents.

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.'

Brian Irvine set up the petition he said:

'The release of these documents are crucial to, most importantly, providing closure for the families of the 96 in revealing the true events of April 15, 1989. In addition, dispelling the lies and malicious slurs insigated by 'The Sun' newspaper and editor Kelivn McKenzie that have been hanging over the city of Liverpool and the supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the past 22 years.

'The people affected by Hillsborough have suffered enough to be denied the truth from their own government who can provide them with answers.'