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Panorama: Hillsborough – How They Buried the Truth

Mon May 20, 9-10pm, BBC1

‘You’re right, Anne. But you’ll not beat the system.’ Anne Williams got used to hearing variations on this sentence throughout the 24 years she spent campaigning on behalf of her son Kevin for the full story of the Hillsborough disaster to be told. But she never gave up and, just before her death earlier this year, she found a vindication of sorts. But any victories were unlikely ones and this documentary shows why.

Even as the following day’s newspapers were being digested, the Hillsborough cover-up was beginning. The feeding of malicious lies to the tabloid press was underway. Police statements were being vetted and altered (a staggering and shameful 116 in total). In short, the blame for the tragedy was to be put ‘where it deserved to be’. And maybe, one day, it will be.

Clearly, this is one of many documentaries exploring these still barely believable events. But this particular film benefits (if that’s an appropriate word for such distressing material) from new and revealing footage of the events in the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday’s ground that afternoon in 1989. Remarkable and moving by turns.


Esmond Jenkins
Esmond Jenkins

A truly shameful tale. We have one system of law in this country which must apply and be seen to apply equally to all sections of society . The Hillsborough scandal is not about the police failings on the day but the establishment conspiracy to protect the reputations and careers of those senior officers who failed in their duty on the day. The extent of the cover up is horrifying. The malice shown to those ordinary individuals who tried to tell the truth is truly horrifying. Those most senior in the Government , in the Judiciary and in the police who deliberately perverted the course of justice should be prosecuted. Those individuals who have accepted honours and pensions should be stripped of them. Ordinary law abiding people will be filled with revulsion . Esmond Jenkins Cirencester