Ian Byrne, MP for the West Derby, was 17 years old when he witnessed people being crushed to death in the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
A city politician who survived the devastation at Hillsborough’s Leppings Lane wants a law that guarantees equal access to justice for those affected by disasters in which the state is involved.
Ian Byrne, MP for the West Derby, was 17 years old when he witnessed people being crushed to death in the FA Cup semi-final match.
It passed its first reading in the House of Commons this afternoon.
It follows a move by Congressmen Maria Eagle of Garston and Halewood, who today introduced the Public Advocate Bill, after campaigning for accountability during the tragedy for the past three decades.
He said that legislation is needed to create a “level playing field” for those involved in future disasters.
Survivors and the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives have led a 30-year campaign for justice after a jury handed down a verdict on the accidental death in 1991.
It aims to create a dedicated independent advisor to help families who have lost their lives in major tragedies.
New investigations of the 2016 disaster revealed that they were killed unlawfully.
Today, Mr. Byrne recalled his memories of that day and its aftermath in a powerful interview.
He said: “It didn’t feel right,” he said when he arrived on the ground, Sheffield Home on Wednesday.
“I got there early because I was with two friends and my girlfriend at the time, we were only 17 and we were behind the gate.
“So we pushed out and we were really lucky, it was just before the rush started, so we pushed out and some friends said ‘No, we’re staying here’ because the atmosphere behind the gate was always great.
“We were definitely lucky because it was getting really bad in there and the girl at the time got a bit upset and said ‘I have to get out of here’.
“So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll see you after the game’, and then a hand came and grabbed me, it was my buddy, and he said, ‘No, we came together, we’re going together’.
“So we all fought our way out and we all went to the side and then we watched it unfold. We had gone out of the entrance of the main gate, we had gone to the side and it was empty…