South Yorkshire police chief to be quizzed over Hillsborough ‘spin’ allegations
Former communications specialist claims she was told to emphasise evidence favourable to police when speaking to journalists attending inquest hearings
South Yorkshire’s re-elected police and crime commissioner is to quiz his force’s chief constable over claims a former communications specialist was leant on to “spin” coverage of the Hillsborough inquests.
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Police commissioner to probe Hillsborough inquest ‘spin doctor’ claims
The South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner looks set to investigate claims the force asked a press officer to “spin” news from the Hillsborough inquests in favour of the police.
Dr Alan Billings told the BBC: “If there’s truth in this, that is shocking and we have to deal with it.”
Hayley Court, who was headhunted to work as a £50,000-a-year specialist press officer for the Hillsborough inquests, says she was asked to emphasise elements of evidence that were positive for the police. She told The Guardian this included poor behaviour by Liverpool fans at the 1989 stadium disaster.
South Yorkshire PCC Alan Billings to investigate Hillsborough police ‘spin’
South Yorkshire’s re-elected police and crime commissioner will investigate claims that a former police press officer was asked to “spin” news during the Hillsborough inquests.
Dr Alan Billings said: “If there’s truth in this, that is shocking and we have to deal with it.”
Hayley Court, who was employed in 2014, said South Yorkshire Police wanted her to encourage the media to report evidence favourable to the police case.
Dr Billings was re-elected on 5 May.
Ms Court, 30, was employed just after the hearings began – for around four months – as the force’s Hillsborough communications specialist.
On 26 April, jurors ruled 96 Liverpool fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final had been unlawfully killed.
Hillsborough: South Yorkshire police ‘tried to spin’ inquests evidence Exclusive: Media officer employed by force says she was instructed to emphasise allegations of fans’ misbehaviour to press South Yorkshire police sought to influence media reporting of the recent inquests into … Continue reading