David Cameron should set up a Leveson style public inquiry into the Hillsborough cover-up, former News of the World executive Neil Wallis has said.
Writing in a blog for The Huffington Post UK, Wallis, who is currently on bail over phone hacking, says the tragedy involved the established "actively assisting" a cover up and an inquiry is "vital."
"I have no doubt that the single biggest issue that would emerge from just such a Leveson Inquiry into Hillsborough is the way SECRECY allowed that evil to fester," writes Wallis, a junior features executive at The Sun at the time of the tragedy.
Fans remembering the 96 killed 23 years ago at Hillsborough
His comments come amid growing calls for the people involved in the initial police investigation to face criminal proceedings, and for a fresh inquest.
On Thursday, the former South Yorkshire Police chief constable Richard Wells called for a criminal investigation into the way the police handled the case, and Trevor Hicks, who lost his two daughters in the tragedy, called for "proper, fair and honest inquests".
Wells said charges were "absolutely essential," adding that police forces in the UK had a culture of "authoritarianism, defensiveness and excessive secrecy" at the time of the disaster.
The report into the Hillsborough disaster revealed police and emergency services made "strenuous attempts" to deflect the blame for the 1989 tragedy onto innocent fans.
Introducing the report to the Hillsborough families at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool and chairman of the panel, said "unanswered questions" surrounding the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans only added to the families' grief.
The panel had found the safety of the crowds at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium had been "compromised at every level" and that 164 statements were "significantly amended" by police, including the removal of 116 negative comments about the leadership of the police, to push the blame for the tragedy onto the fans.
A statement from the Hillsborough Family Support Group lawyer, James Saunders, said there should be a new inquest and criminal proceedings: "As the magnitude of the Hillsborough cover up emerges, the families rightly demand the justice that David Cameron admitted had been denied them," he said. "In addition to a fresh inquest, they want those who knowingly perverted justice to be prosecuted for their crimes."
Labour has called for a criminal investigation, overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, into the wrongdoing uncovered by the Hillsborough report.
Commenting on the tragedy and the ensuing cover up on Thursday, Wallis, who says he had nothing to do with The Sun's infamous coverage of Hillsborough, said an inquiry into the disaster is "vital."
"I believe a Leveson Inquiry for Hillsborough is vital to force all those involved in the cover-up to explain and justify how they acted to protect their own vested interests at the expense of truth and justice.
"It is also vital to ensure it can never happen again - and the only way to achieve that is to rip up the secrecy laws that allowed that cover-up to go on for so long. Are you listening, Mr Cameron?"
'Nothing to hide': Sir Norman Bettison faces calls to quit
Wallis also claimed the Leveson inquiry into the culture and standards of the press had been "hijacked" by those seeking to curb the media "in the name of privacy."
His comments come after one of the most senior serving police chiefs who was involved in the discredited South Yorkshire Police investigation after the Hillsborough disaster said he has "nothing to hide."
Sir Norman Bettison, now the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, has faced calls to quit following the publication of an independent report into the tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans were killed.
But in a statement released on Thursday he said: "I never altered a statement nor asked for one to be altered," adding that he acknowledged the tragedy was caused "mainly through a lack of police control."
- David Cameron's Full Statement To The Commons On The Bishop Of Liverpool's Inquiry
- David Cameron Urges Kelvin MacKenzie To 'Face Up To His Responsibilities'
- David Cameron Makes 'Profound Apology'
- Families Of 96 Killed See Released Documents, Believe Police Cover-Up
- Kelvin MacKenzie, Former Sun Editor, Apologises To Liverpool For 'That Headline'
- Why Hillsborough Still Matters (BLOG)
- Never Walking Alone on the Road to Justice (BLOG)