Andy Burnham
Andy Burnham
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THE role Leigh MP Andy Burnham played in bringing about the release of the Hillsborough files has brought praise from all quarters..

Prime Minister David Cameron referred to the MP during his address to the House of Commons about the findings of the report.

Mr BUrnham was instrumental in establishing the Hillsborough independent panel that has been investigating previously unseen papers on the 1989 disaster.

He said: “It comes far too late for many, of course, but finally the full horror of Hillsborough has been revealed. A catalogue of negligence, appalling failure and sheer mendacity. A tragedy that should have been prevented, lives that should have been saved.

“Devastating truths made far worse not better for the passing of time; the crude 3.15pm cut-off, with no legal, medical or moral justification; parents only hearing today what happened to their children - because people whose job it was to protect them then turned against the victims and the bereaved to protect themselves.

“A monumental cover-up and a sickening campaign of vilification against victims, grieving families, traumatised survivors and the city in shock.”

North West MEP Paul Nuttall, a Hillsborough survivor, led the praise for Mr Burnham.

He said: “I would like to congratulate Andy Burnham for his unstinting efforts to get the truth revealed. I was there that dreadful day and have my own terrible memories. We have waited far too long for this day of revelation but at last light has been shone into the darkness.

“My heart goes out to all the families of the bereaved and I hope the findings will help ease their pain,”

The road to the truth was not a smooth one for Liverpool born Mr Burnham, especially in 2009 when he bore the brunt of Merseyside’s frustrations at the 20th anniversary service at Anfield.

The then secretary of state for culture, media and sport was a member of a Labour government who had ruled out the possibility of a fresh inquiry, resulting in him being jeered and branded a “hypocrite” from the 30,000 strong crowd.

But the Prime Minister yesterday singled out Mr Burnham for praise, he said: “Above all I would like to pay tribute to the work you have put in with huge passion and dedication. It was a brave and right decision to set up the panel, not easy when there have been previous inquiries,but it was undoubtedly the right decision.”