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Hillsborough: The Thatcher papers

“In brief, we have learnt that the top ranks of Merseyside Police helped to misinform Margaret Thatcher by wrongly blaming Liverpool fans”

– Martin Rosenbaum, BBC Freedom of Information specialist

Requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) reveal that the government of Margaret Thatcher was misinformed about the cause of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, the BBC reports.

In July 2011 the Information Commissioner ruled that it was in the public interest for documents about the Hillsborough tragedy to be released, since it would “add to the public knowledge and understanding about the reaction of various parties to that event, including the government of the day”.

The disclosed information shows that in April 1989 Prime Minister Thatcher was mislead about the tragedy at Hillsborough stadium, Sheffield in which ninety-six fans watching the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest were crushed to death as a result of overcrowding. Drunken Liverpool supporters were, according to Merseyside Police’s description to the former Prime Minister, the cause of the incident.

The BBC adds: “The briefing she received also reported the assessment of the then Merseyside Chief Constable Sir Kenneth Oxford. He thought that a key factor was the presence of Liverpool fans without tickets and this was being ignored while the authorities were being blamed.”

Liverpool fans still mourn and seek explanations to the deaths of many of their fellow supporters. However, they have been blame had also been pointed to them for the Hillborough tragedy by South Yorkshire Police, who monitored the stadium on the day.

Cost of Scottish Nationalist Party’s Headline Policies revealed under FoIA

SNP leader Alex Salmond blocked the release of highly sensitive information until after the Scottish elections by appealing to the Court of Session twice, after the Scottish ICO ordered disclosure of data. The Telegraph, who made the request for the cost of “”headline policies” such as the removal of council tax have accused the SNP of spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to cynically delay disclosure until after the election, which the SNP won.

The Telegraph states that: “The SNP’s plan to replace council tax would have resulted in a shortfall of almost £800 million, meaning that its local income tax replacement would have had to be set 50 per cent higher than Mr Salmond planned. This would have meant a rate of 4.5p in the pound, rather than the 3p promised by the SNP. But the SNP leader went not once but twice to the Court of Session — at a cost of £100,000 to the taxpayer — to block this newspaper’s political editor, Simon Johnson, from revealing the truth before last May’s election

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