Alison McGovern MP sent a letter to the Prime Minister on the 11th May that urged support for ‘Hillsborough Law’ to assist Grenfell. The letter sent to Theresa May expressed cross-party support for ‘Hillsborough Law’, the Public Authority (Accountability) Bill, to assist the Grenfell public inquiry. The law which was introduced by Andy Burnham in 2017 would make lying or hiding the truth in inquests punishable by prison.

The law compels public officials involved in inquiries to be truthful and it extends further to ensure legal aid for bereaved families.

This came after inquests confirmed that the 96 fans were unlawfully killed in the Hillsborough disaster after senior officers lied and covered up the truth 28 years ago.

Justice for Grenfell

The letter sent to the Prime Minister reminded her that she argued that her government will prioritise fighting burning injustices within our society. The Grenfell Tower fire is a reminder that the system is inherently unequal. The way in which the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster were appallingly treated by public bodies, officials and the legal system should not be repeated and that is why Alison McGovern MP sent this letter to Theresa May.

Many people signed the letter and that includes now Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham and general secretary of Unite the Union, Len McCluskey.

The letter states that “it is the hope” of those who have signed the letter that the government will make good commitment and take vital steps to changing the culture by supporting the measures contained within the Bill, which will improve accountability for public bodies and ultimately improving justice.

There is a lot to be done for justice and the inquiry itself could take until 2020, there are also concerns that it is not far-reaching enough.

But the potential importance of the Hillsborough Law could mean that previously when something like this was covered up by authorities, there was no way the public could do anything about it but with a law like this, it would mean real accountability, or at least the beginning of real accountability. There is significantly more and the law itself only covers the inquiry after the disaster and doesn’t address the inherent social and political issues that sees communities such as this left behind to face disaster, that wasn’t their fault, alone.