My heart goes out to Liverpool families, says ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie


Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, who oversaw the newspaper when it published a story blaming Liverpool fans for the Hillsborough disaster, has said his "heart goes out" to the families and friends who have waited for vindication.

The Sun ran a front page story four days after the tragedy proclaiming to tell "The Truth" about the human crush which left 96 people dead.

It featured claims from an anonymous policeman that some fans had "picked pockets of victims", "urinated on cops" and that some beat up a policeman giving the "kiss of life".

Mr MacKenzie has now apologised for the "hurt" his story caused.

In a statement he said: "Today's verdicts are an important step in obtaining justice for the victims. My heart goes out to those who have waited so long for vindication.

"As I have said before, the headline I published was wrong and I am profoundly sorry for the hurt it caused."

He said his paper's coverage was based on what is now known from the inquest to be "deliberate misinformation from the South Yorkshire Police".

"Clearly, I was wrong to take the police's version of events at face value and it is a mistake I deeply regret."

Mr MacKenzie added: "The Crown Prosecution Service must now ensure that those officers within South Yorkshire Police responsible for the cover-up are brought to trial."

In an interview with ITV News, Mr MacKenzie said he "absolutely" agreed with the verdicts given by the jury.

He told the programme: "It's been an absolute disgrace what the police have done in South Yorkshire these last 27 years.

"I feel desperate for the families and the people and I also feel that in some strange way I got caught up in it. I feel terrible for them."

Mr MacKenzie defended his use of the story, which is believed to have been sent from a news agency in Sheffield.

"Everybody got sent this agency story. I printed it in that way. But honestly, the way it affected those families was a disgrace and I'm delighted for the families."