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MP KILFOYLE A `HYPOCRITE' Blast over free ticket.

Byline: LIZ HULL

A LIVERPOOL MP has been branded a hypocrite after accepting free rugby tickets from the bosses of the Sun newspaper.

Peter Kilfoyle, MP for Walton, led the condemnation of the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper for its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

But last November Mr Kilfoyle, whose constituency includes Anfield, accepted a complimentary ticket for the England versus Australia rugby union international at Twickenham from the media mogul's firm, News International.

Today the Hillsborough family support group said it was ``sickened'' by Mr Kilfoyle's actions.

Vice-chairman Phil Hammond, whose son Philip, 14, was crushed to death along with another 95 Liverpool FC fans during the tragedy, said: ``He is being very hypocritical.

``The people of Merseyside won't want to know him if he is taking freebies off that newspaper.

``It is terrible, I'm sickened. ``We would like him to apologise to the Hillsborough victims and to stop taking any more freebies off the Sun.''

Chairman Trevor Hicks, who also lost both his teenage daughters in the disaster, added: ``We are very surprised that a man of his moral standing would get involved with that organisation.''

In a debate in the House of Commons in December 1996 Mr Kilfoyle described the Sun's coverage as ``infamous.''

In a front page story in the aftermath of the tragedy the newspaper claimed Liverpool fans picked the pockets of victims and urinated and beat up police officers trying to save lives.

He said: ``The low point must have been the infamous report of that terrible day in the Sun.

``Even by its grub street standards it reached an abysmal low.''

But according to the latest register of MP's interests, Mr Kilfoyle attended the rugby match on November 10 last year courtesy of News International, the media firm which owns the Sun.

Today he admitted that he accepted a free Twickenham ticket simply because of constituency connections.

The former defence minister agreed that he had been severely critical of News International newspapers, particularly the Sun, in the past.

But he added: ``Les Hinton, a senior executive of News International, was born and raised in Walton. He invited me to the game and I went. I don't want to say anything else about it.''

CAPTION(S):

UNITED IN GRIEF: Trevor Hicks and Peter Kilfoyle at a Hillsborough press conference
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2002
Words:386
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