A formal application to quash the verdicts of the original Hillsborough inquests has been made by the Government's top lawyer.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve said there was a "good" case for setting aside the accidental death verdicts and holding new hearings into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans killed in the 1989 football stadium disaster.

hillsborough inquests

The Liverpool fans at Hillsborough have been absolved of all blame in the tragedy

The move comes after a damning report into the tragedy revealed a cover-up which attempted to shift the blame on to the victims.

Mr Grieve will appear in person at the High Court to argue that new evidence means there should be fresh inquests.

He said: "I believe that the case for the High Court to quash the original inquests is a good one.

"My application has now been lodged with the Court. It is my intention to appear to argue the case at the hearing that will take place in the High Court."

If the court quashes the original inquests and orders fresh inquests to be heard, its powers are limited to referring the cases back to the district in which they were originally heard.

In 95 of the cases this means the cases must be sent back to Sheffield or Doncaster.

It is understood that the Attorney General will suggest that the court should return the cases to Doncaster.

The families had made it clear they wished for the new inquests to be held in Liverpool but a spokesman for the Attorney General's office said the location will be "a matter for the coronial process".

Ninety-six Liverpool supporters died in the crush at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989, where their team were to meet Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.

Anne Williams, whose son Kevin died in the disaster, wrote on Twitter: "Just received e mail the Attorney General is sending kevins case to the divisional courts seeking a new inquest his death."

More than 105,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for a fresh inquest into Kevin Williams' death to be held swiftly as his mother is suffering from cancer.

Mrs Williams, 60, who has made four submissions to overturn the verdict of her son's inquest to different Attorney Generals over the years, said this is what she had been waiting 23 years for.

She said: "Looking at it (the email) now, I can't believe it. This is my fourth submission to Attorney Generals over the years and they have always come back 'not in the interests of justice'."

Mrs Williams said she was now "one step closer" to knowing the truth about what happened to her son on that day.

Chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, whose son James, 18, died at Hillsborough, said: "We have waited over 20-years for these verdicts to be overturned and I'm sure all the families will be delighted to hear that these steps are being taken.

"It is a great step towards getting the justice we have fought for."

Last week new laws giving extra powers to the police watchdog investigating the Hillsborough disaster and cover-up were rushed through the Commons.

Policing minister Damian Green said the changes were essential to ensure the "double injustice" suffered by the victims of the disaster, as uncovered by the Hillsborough Independent Panel report published earlier this year, could be remedied.

The Police (Complaints and Conduct) Bill had cross-party support and cleared the Commons in under four hours, receiving its second and third readings without a vote.

The actions of up to 2,400 serving or retired officers could be considered by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation - the watchdog's biggest ever investigation.

The new rules, which still have to be approved by the House of Lords, would enable the IPCC to compel serving officers or staff on other police bodies to attend an interview.

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  • Hillsborough

    LIVERPOOL SUPPORTERS ARE HELPED AFTER BEING CRUSHED AGAINST THE SAFETY

  • Hillsborough

    Fan in despair after the Hillsborough Disaster

  • Hillsborough Tragedy

    Fans leave the ground after the disaster

  • Liverpool v Nottingham Forest - Hillsborough

    One of the fans who came to see the semi -final between Nottingham Forest & Liverpool, is led away after surviving the disaster

  • Hillsborough Tragedy

    The injured are carried away on boards by fans who came to see a game of football

  • Hillsborough

    Fans try to get away from the crush of the crowd as they pour into the ground

  • Hillsborough papers published

    File photo dated 15/04/1989 of Liverpool fans trying to escape severe overcrowding during the FA Cup semi-final football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. The families of 96 people killed in the Hillsborough tragedy will see thousands of official documents relating to the disaster for the first time today.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    File photo dated 15/04/1989 of a Liverpool fan at Hillsborough after their FA Cup semi-final football match against Nottingham Forest. The families of 96 people killed in the Hillsborough tragedy will see thousands of official documents relating to the disaster for the first time today.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    File photo dated 22/10/11 of a banner in memory of those who died in the Hillsborough tragedy at Anfield, as the families of 96 people killed in the Hillsborough tragedy will see thousands of official documents relating to the disaster for the first time today.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    File photo dated 15/04/2011 of a Hillsborough banner at Anfield, as the families of 96 people killed in the Hillsborough tragedy will see thousands of official documents relating to the disaster for the first time today.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    File photo dated 15/4/2009 of a hans paying tribute at the Hillsborough Memorial in Liverpool. he families of 96 people killed in the Hillsborough tragedy will see thousands of official documents relating to the disaster for the first time today.

  • Liverpool Prepares For Hillsborough Disclosure Day

    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: The Hillsborough memorial is covered with tributes at Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool Football Club on September 10, 2012 in Liverpool, England. On Wednesday relatives and friends of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy in Sheffield on 15 April 1989 will see the full disclosure of all documents relating to the disaster when they are made public at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Liverpool Prepares For Hillsborough Disclosure Day

    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: The Hillsborough memorial is covered with tributes at Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool Football Club on September 10, 2012 in Liverpool, England. On Wednesday relatives and friends of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy in Sheffield on 15 April 1989 will see the full disclosure of all documents relating to the disaster when they are made public at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Hillsborough papers to be published

    The front cover of 'With Hope In Your Heart' written by 51 year old Chris Whittle who lives in Burnley.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    Hillsborough Family Support Group members during a press conference at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral after the release of previously unpublished papers realting to the Hillsborough disaster.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    Hillsborough Family Support Group members Jenny Hicks (left) and Margaret Aspinall (right) during a press conference at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral after the release of previously unpublished papers realting to the Hillsborough disaster.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    Hillsborough Family Support Group member Margaret Aspinall, the mother of Hillsborough victim James Aspinall, during a press conference at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral after the release of previously unpublished papers realting to the Hillsborough disaster.

  • Hillsborough papers published

    Hillsborough Family Support Group member Trevor Hicks speaks during a press conference at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral after the release of previously unpublished papers realting to the Hillsborough disaster.