FAST-track laws to ensure no police officer involved in the Hillsborough cover-up escapes justice will be unveiled as early as today.
Home Secretary Theresa May was poised to announce a Bill to provide the power to compel current, and retired officers, to give evidence to investigators.
The move – demanded by Labour – follows fears that there is currently no law to force police officers to answer questions that might lead to criminal charges.
Currently, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) can only send written questions to serving officers unwilling to give evidence – and has no powers at all over civilians.
The scale of the task ahead was underlined last week, when a parliamentary inquiry heard that the IPCC was examining the role played by up to 2,444 police officers in the Hillsborough disaster and cover-up.
They served at 25 different forces – not including South Yorkshire Police – with three of those forces said to be involved in a "significant" way.
Last night, the announcement – expected to be made in a statement to parliament today – was welcomed by Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, who first called for it.
Both Ms Cooper and Andy Burnham, the Liverpool-born former Culture Secretary who played a key role in setting up the Hillsborough Panel, have held talks with the Home Office in recent weeks.
She said: "The IPCC doesn't currently have enough powers and resources to conduct the Hillsborough inquiries as rigorously as is needed. That is why we proposed emergency legislation in September. And we welcome the government's agreement to rapid legislation to move this forward."
But Ms Cooper urged the Home Secretary to go further, by beefing up the IPCC's resources and by appointing a 'senior lead investigator'.