Ex-MP Sir Irvine Patnick apologises for Hillsborough smears

By Marcus Dysch, September 14, 2012
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Former Sheffield Hallam MP Sir Irvine Patnick

Former Sheffield Hallam MP Sir Irvine Patnick

A former Conservative MP has apologised for the part he played in repeating false allegations about Liverpool fans following 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.

Following the disaster, the politician was a leading voice behind claims the fans were to blame for the crush on the terraces and had conspired to arrive late, drunk and without tickets, and had forced entry into the stadium.

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

In a statement released on Thursday evening, Sir Irvine, 82, said: “I would like to put on the record how appalled and shocked I was to discover the extent of the deceit and cover-up surrounding these events.

"It is now clear that the information I received from some police officers at the time was wholly inaccurate, misleading and plain wrong.

“However, I totally accept responsibility for passing such information on without asking further questions. So, many years after this tragic event, I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the part I played in adding to the pain and suffering of the victims' families.”

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

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.

Last updated: 10:04am, September 14 2012