CHANGES to police practices to prevent a repeat of the Hillsborough cover-up will be announced within weeks, the Home Secretary has hinted.
Theresa May said she was examining ways to stamp out any lingering “blame-shifting culture” in police forces, following the revelations in the Hillsborough Panel report.
A shake-up could be announced during parliament’s debate on the report, which – the Post can reveal – is pencilled in for Monday, October 22.
Speaking at the Conservative conference, Mrs May also hinted at relief that Sir Norman Bettison had thrown in the towel, by announcing he would stand down as the chief constable of West Yorkshire, following criticism from the Panel.
But she refused to be drawn on whether ex-Tory MP Sir Irvine Patnick should be stripped of his gongs, because of the part he played in spreading lies about the cause of the tragedy. In Birmingham, Mrs May was asked whether she was concerned whether, 23 years after Hillsborough, there was still a “blame-shifting culture” in police forces – and whether action would follow.
She replied: “We are looking very closely at the Hillsborough Panel report, what comes out from that and the lessons we need to learn. It’s important that we look at exactly that question.
“This is an issue we will be looking at. There will be a debate in parliament, hopefully the week after next, on the Hillsborough Panel report and I hope to be able to say more then.
“I’m still getting an analysis done on the Hillsborough report and, more widely, what we need to look at. I expect to be in a position to tell people fairly soon.”
Last week, Labour vowed to scrap the Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) – insisting the Hillsborough cover-up had exposed its failings.
Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, announced a future Labour government would replace it with a tougher Police Standards Authority.