Over two and a half years after the Hillsborough Independent Panel began their efforts to uncover the entire truth of the tragedy that claimed 96 lives and damaged countless others, digging through over 450,000 pages of evidence to compile a report on both the disaster and the reaction to it by the government of the day and South Yorkshire Police, Wednesday finally saw the culmination of their work.
And the first official response to the report came just minutes after its release when Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to the House of Commons about its "deeply distressing" findings. On one of the most significant days in the recent history of Liverpool Football Club and for the many who were impacted by the events of Hillsborough, Cameron went on to address what he believes to be the three key themes of the panel's findings—the "failure of the authorities to help protect people, the attempt to blame the fans, and the doubt cast on the original coroner's inquest"—before apologising for failures of government to in the past do enough to uncover the truth and set the public record straight.
His open and frank discussion of the "failure of the authorities to help protect people," altered police reports, and journalistic malpractice along with his apology for the "double injustice" of Hillsborough and its aftermath are things that many have long wanted to hear from those at the highest levels of power, and as such his entire speech is worth watching for any of Liverpool's many fans and supporters. It's also worth a moment, though, for those who follow other clubs and who may not be fully educated on the tragedy, offering both something at least very close to a full and honest summation of events as well as some amount of insight into why Hillsborough remains such a point of contention for Liverpool Football Club, those impacted by it, and the club's fans.
A transcript of the key points in Cameron's speech to the House of Commons today can be found here.
To read online or download the full 400-page report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, go here.