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The Sun And South Yorkshire Police Force Shamed At Hillsborough Vigil By Liverpool Mayor

Kelvin MacKenzie should be sacked, says Joe Anderson.

27/04/2016 21:35 | Updated 27 April 2016

The Sun and South Yorkshire Police force were shamed by the Mayor of Liverpool on Wednesday during an emotional vigil held for the 96 Hillsborough victims in Liverpool.

Addressing the thousands of people who had gathered at St George's Hall in the city, Joe Anderson lambasted The Sun and The Times for failing to put yesterday's inquest verdict, which exonerated those who died in the tragedy 27 years ago, on their front pages.

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Thousands of people attended a commemorative event at St George's Hall in Liverpool, to mark the outcome of the Hillsborough inquest.

He called for the sacking of columnist and former editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, who is "a disgrace to journalism and a disgrace to the human race".

Boris Johnson was also targeted for a column he wrote in 2004 which blamed drunken fans for the Hillsborough disaster.

The Mayor of Liverpool told crowds: "For too long the families' campaign was met with a wall of silence from the powerful.

"The fans were made to carry the blame for the tragedy while the gutter press were happy to spew their bile onto the memories of the dead.

"Yesterday the wall of lies was finally torn down." 

He blamed "the establishment" for plotting to "create the biggest cover up in British history".

Anderson said that the lies began while victims lay dying on the football pitch.

He lambasted The Sun's notorious front page from 1989, titled 'THE TRUTH'.

"The real truth came out yesterday.

"And of course, what do we find 27 years gone, 27 years after those awful lies? The Murdoch newspapers didn't even bother to put Hillsborough on the front pages today," the mayor said.

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Joe Anderson (right), the Mayor of Liverpool, shamed The Sun and South Yorkshire Police.

There remains bitter resentment towards The Sun among Liverpudlians. 

Journalists from the tabloid paper were banned from attending a press conference given my families of the Hillsborough disaster following the momentous verdict yesterday.

Crowds at the vigil booed at the mention of Murdoch's publications.

Anderson continued: "Can you believe it?

"Half the world's media has been here for the last two days and every other national newspaper rightly put Hillsborough on their front pages today, but Murdoch's lackeys didn't even think it was important enough."

The mayor said: "Even now, even now, today, they are denying the fans, the people of our city the spotlight that they truly deserve and denying the gravity of the injustice of Hillsborough," adding: "Even now they disrespect the families of the 96."

He urged The Sun to do one "simple task" and sack MacKenzie.

"Sack the man who's a disgrace to journalism and a disgrace to the human race," Anderson said.

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Kelvin Mackenzie, columnist at The Sun, should be sacked, says the mayor of Liverpool.

The Mayor of Liverpool then turned his attention to his London counterpart who, in 2004, wrote an editorial for The Spectator in which he blamed drunken fans for the Hillsborough disaster.

He said: "A man called Boris branded Liverpool a city of victims and blamed drunken fans for Hillsborough.

"We were called self pity city. That tag stuck and it shamed our city.

"Well let me tell Boris and the watching media and the world, this isn't a self pity city, but a self grity city.

"Full of true, honest grit. It's in our DNA to right against injustice at every opportunity, Something we are proud of."  

As Anderson then focused on South Yorkshire Police, loud boos ensued from the thousands of people who had gathered at the vigil.

Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Family members of the Hillsborough victims attend a commemorative event at St George's Hall in Liverpool.

The mayor said: "They (South Yorkshire Police) have made their values clear time and time again.

"A police force that is institutionally corrupt and lacks any morals or integrity.

"Empty apologies were given in 2012 when their black deeds and propaganda were exposed but they still put the families through hell over the last two years and they should be ashamed of themselves."  

On Wednesday, South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton was suspended over his response to Hillsborough.

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said he “had been left with no choice” other than to suspend “with immediate effect” Crompton“following the run-up to and delivery of the Hillsborough verdicts”.

Dave Higgens/PA Wire
South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton has been suspended over his response to Hillsborough.

The move follows calls from family members, as well as MPs, for the police chief to be removed.

Families at the vigil called for Crompton to be sacked for "disgracefully running the lies from the past in these inquests". 

Anderson commended the families of the victims for their "heroic achievement".

He said: "You are a symbol for all those who continue to to fight for truth and justice.

"The city stands alongside you now as it has for the past 27 years. You fought against the might of an establishment determined to coverup the callous conspiracy."

He added: "You were not meant to succeed but you did not give up. The obstacles put in your way only make your achievements even more heroic.

"You are the very best of our city."

As relatives of the victims walked out onto the steps hand in hand, the sea of people who were stood before them erupted in chanting: "Justice for the 96."

Those at the vigil bowed their heads as the names of those who were killed in the disaster were read out and Liverpool FC and Everton FC fans united in singing the former's anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

  • Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
    Margaret Aspinall and the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson sing 'you'll never walk alone' along with thousands of people outside Liverpool's Saint George's Hall.
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    Thousands of people gather outside Liverpool's Saint George's Hall.
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    Family and friends of the victims on the steps join thousands of people outside Liverpool's Saint George's Hall to attend a vigil for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.
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    Thousands attend the vigil.
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     Some of the 96 candles in memory of the victims burn on the steps outside Liverpool's Saint George's Hall.
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    Tributes are left outside Liverpool's Saint George's Hall.
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    'Justice for the 96'
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    A large bill board displays the words 'Never Forgotten'.
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  • Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
  • Christopher Furlong via Getty Images
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    Members of the public sing 'you'll never walk alone'.
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    Margaret Aspinall and the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson sing 'you'll never walk alone'
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    Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, speaks outside St George's Hall in Liverpool.
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    Hillsborough Family Support Group chairman Margaret Aspinall speaks to crowds.
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    British Labour party MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham, stands at a podium and reads some of the names of the 96 victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.
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