Strip Patnick of knighthood says MP Mann

By Marcus Dysch, September 13, 2012
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Campaigners have called for a former MP to be stripped of his knighthood over his role in the Hillsborough disaster.

Sir Irvine Patnick represented the Sheffield Hallam constituency when 96 Liverpool fans died at the FA Cup semi-final held at the stadium in April 1989.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the Conservative politician was a leading voice behind allegations that the Liverpool fans were to blame for the crush on the terraces.

The publication on Wednesday of a report by an independent panel who scrutinised more than 450,000 pages of previously unseen documents about the tragedy, revealed the depth of Sir Irvine’s involvement.

He had, alongside South Yorkshire Police representatives, claimed that Liverpool fans had conspired to arrive late, drunk and without tickets, and had forced entry into the stadium.

An entire section of the 389-page report is dedicated to Sir Irvine’s “interventions” in the days after the tragedy.

Sir Irvine is vice-president of Sheffield’s Kingfield Synagogue, life president of Sheffield Jewish Representative Council, and a former national vice-chairman of Maccabi.

Labour MP John Mann wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron following the report’s publication. He called for Sir Irvine to be stripped of his knighthood for “shameful and disgusting” behaviour.

Mr Cameron said the “despicable untruths” spread by police about the behaviour of fans had been part of an effort to focus on “the allegations of drunkenness and violence”.

Sir Irvine, now 82, declined to comment on the report’s contents when contacted by the JC on Wednesday.

In the days after the disaster, he told ITN’s News at Ten that police officers had informed him they were attacked by fans, had been kicked and punched while giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and that officers had claimed fans urinated on them.

Last updated: 2:45pm, September 13 2012